ICYMI: Palm Oil Producing Countries Unite in Opposition to EU Biofuels Policy

The Council of Palm Oil Producing Countries (CPOPC) released a statement outlining its clear opposition to the EU’s proposed action that could define Palm Oil biofuels as risky based on supposed scientific calculations known as Indirect Land-Use Change (ILUC) and High Carbon Stock (HCS).

The CPOPC states: CPOPC is of the view that the use of ILUC to target palm oil would represent a basic violation of the non-discriminatory principles upon which the WTO multilateral system is based; and that any related EU regulation or decision would likely constitute a Technical Barrier to Trade.

The question for Palm Oil producing countries represented, including Malaysia and Colombia, is how to respond to the EU’s discriminatory approach on ILUC. The CPOPC statement issues a strong and unequivocal position on this crucial question stating, “While CPOPC considers that the scientific community of palm oil producing countries should engage with the Commission, the Governments in the developing world should be fearful of being drawn into acknowledging, accepting or offering legitimacy to the ILUC scheme within the RED II.”

In other words, the EU’s process currently underway and active participation in that process by Palm Oil producing countries would provide the EU’s process with the legitimacy that it does not deserve, and the science does not support.

The CPOPC statement is reminiscent of recent strong positions taken by Malaysia and others – such as the strong response to the EU’s Palm Oil ban in 2017/18 or the strong response to the French Tax in 2015. These two campaigns were successful for Malaysia, which demonstrates that CPOPC’s approach is based on past success of how to defeat threats in Europe.

The full CPOPC statement may be viewed here.