Malaysia Board on EU biodiesel policy

Tan Sri Dr Yusof Basiron the CEO of the Malaysian Palm Oil Council explained why he thinks the European Union needs to get its own house in order before considering preventing non-certificated palm oil imports for use in biodiesel in the New Straights Times last Saturday. The European Commission is considering a certification process to measure how sustainable veg oil is for use in biodiesel.

Some points though are more valid than others. He says:

In reality, protectionist measures are being cleverly disguised as environmental issues, which are being exploited and propagated as anti-palm oil campaigns by environmental NGOs to increase financial contributions from unaware sympathisers. Any measure to exclude palm oil will naturally contravene World Trade Organisation provisions.

I agree that the environmental lobby is a business like palm oil, but to confuse trade and NGO’s concerns over environmental protection, is like confusing the Police with the Boy Scouts.

He has a point in the next paragraph though:

Although statements issued in the Netherlands say that only palm oil from sustainable sources would be allowed in the biofuel industry, ironically, no vegetable oils, even those produced in the EU or US currently, have a sustainability certification scheme in place. Therefore, to stipulate that palm oil be certified sustainable for biofuel use in the EU is likely to be regarded by exporters as a non-tariff barrier against WTO rules.

Lets get a certification process in place in that can be applied to both European and non-European vegetable oil.

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