KUALA LUMPUR: Sweden has joined France in saying it is against the European Union (EU) resolution that aims to ban palm biodiesel from the EU energy mix after 2020.
Sweden’s Ambassador to Malaysia Dag Juhlin-Dannfelt was quoted by The Malaysian Reserve (TMR) as saying that as palm oil was required to be phased out before others, the EU’s proposal was perceived as a discrimination.
“Sweden and many other European countries, who are member states of the EU, are against any kind of discrimination. That includes any regime that would be discriminating against other products,” TMR quoted him as saying at the announcement of the 2nd Sweden-South-East Asia Business Summit 2018 in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.
The EU parliament resolution on Jan 17 calls for the phasing out of palm oil from the EU biofuel programme by 2020 because it results in the destruction of forests.
“The European Commission, which is an executive branch of the EU, has made a proposal to amend the European law on renewable energy that focuses on what should be the sustainable sources of renewable energy.
“Unfortunately, it has been over-politicised, as well as sidetracked by the EU parliament recently when they approved the draft measures,” TMR quoted Juhlin-Dannfelt as saying.
Juhlin-Dannfelt noted that the proposal was constructed with genuine concern over the sustainability in energy production.
On Jan 29, France’s Armed Forces Minister Florence Parly said in Kuala Lumpur that her government understood the importance of palm oil for Malaysia’s economy and that it was not in favour of the ban against palm oil.
She said this after attending the Fourth Malaysia-France Defence Joint High Strategic Committee Meeting with Defence Minister Hishammuddin Hussein at Wisma Perwira.
Earlier, Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Mah Siew Keong had said the approval of the European parliament’s special committee of the resolution, which called for a single certification to guarantee that only sustainably produced palm oil entered the EU, was discriminatory and biased against Malaysia’s palm oil exports to the continent.
“For me, it is not fair that they (EU) want the certification before the palm oil can enter the EU market.
“Malaysia, as a palm oil producer, is entitled to issue the certificate and not for Europe to determine,” he said.