The EU is inconsistent; it says coffee damages the environment, but, at the same time, it buys coal from us. How is coffee more damaging to the environment than coal?
Jakarta (ANTARA) - The European Union (EU) has been inconsistent with its policies on environmental protection, especially those devised within the European Green Deal (EGD) framework, Trade Minister Zulkifli Hasan said on Tuesday.

Speaking at the "Food Agri Insight on Location" seminar here, he highlighted that the EU considers coffee damaging to the environment, but is still buying coal.

"The EU is inconsistent; it says coffee damages the environment, but at the same time, it buys coal from us. How is coffee more damaging to the environment than coal? Inconsistent," he remarked.

Another instance, he said, is the 20-percent tax on tuna exports from Indonesia.

"But they (EU countries) also accept our tunas in illegal containers. As long as it is their interests, it is fine to them," he added.

The Trade Minister reaffirmed his strong rejection of the European Union Deforestation-Free Regulations (EUDR).

Related news: Indonesia invites affected countries to oppose EUDR policy: Minister

Almost all Indonesian products, such as cocoa, coffee, palm oil, rubber, cloves, timber, and other derivative products, are targeted by the regulation, he said.

He added that the EUDR policy could potentially hinder trade and inflict losses on Indonesian farmers.

"In 2022, exports to the EU of palm oil, cocoa, rubber, coffee, and timber were worth almost US$7.2 billion, with nearly 8 million small-scale farmers. We realize that the struggle is not easy, but the Trade Ministry is striving to protect our national interests, including protecting smallholders," he informed.

Hasan said that he will continue to voice his objections to the EUDR policy, including at the upcoming 16th round of the Indonesia-EU Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (I-EU CEPA) negotiations.

He expressed the hope that the EU will still open its market to Indonesia.

Currently, he said, the total trade volume between Indonesia and the EU is only US$30 billion, far below the EU's trade with Thailand and Vietnam, which has been recorded at US$80 billion.

"That's why there should be a win-win solution," Hasan added.

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Translator: Ade J, Kenzu
Editor: Yuni Arisandy Sinaga
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