WALHI Blasted Luhut Pandjaitan’s Statement to Pull from Paris Agreement for Palm Oil Negotiation

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Ilustration. Photo: pxhere.com

Jakarta (Greeners) – Green groups blasted Indonesian Coordinating Minister for Maritime Issues, Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan’s latest threat to pull from Paris Agreement if European Union continue with their plans to reduce palm oil for renewable transportation fuel, stating the statement as ‘reckless’ for overstepping presidential decree.

President Joko ‘Jokowi’ Widodo had committed to ratify Paris Agreement during the 2015 Climate Conference in Paris, France. The decision was then legalized after House of Representatives ratified Paris Agreement under the law issued in 2016.

Based on Paris Agreement, Indonesia is committed to reduce 29 percent of greenhouse gas emissions and 41 percent with international help by 2030.

READ ALSO: Indonesia Faces Challenges for Its Organic Fuel Implementation 

Yuyun Harmono, campaign manager of climate justice for Indonesian Forum for the Environment (WALHI), said that the president’s commitment to reduce emissions on global level is irrefutable for his ministers. On the other side, it shows contradictory and no coordination among government agencies.

Harmono said president should reprimand Coordinating Minister Luhut for his statement.

“Luhut’s statement is very reckless because it is not based on much considerations and is wrong. As Coordinating Minister for Maritime Issues, he should ensure that people will not affected by climate change, especially those living in coastal areas because that’s under maritime sector. Not like this, threatening to pull from Paris Agreement and there’s an indication to defend the interests of palm oil corporation,” he said in Jakarta on Friday (29/03/2019).

READ ALSO: ISPO and RSPO Certifications for Indonesia’s Sustainable Oil Palm Industry 

European Union had issued criteria determining which commodities destroying forests and environment.

This effort is part of new law in EU to increase new renewable to 32 percent by 2030. EU Commission concluded that 45 percent of palm oil expansion in 2008 caused forest destruction and release greenhouse gas emissions.

“When European Union introduced renewable energy policy to reduce emissions in Europe, we told that you [EU] gave incentives to environmental destroyers in palm oil producers because the companies see opportunities in EU for palm oil as biofuel and massive expansion,” he said. “As proof, there was massive forest and land fires in 2015 with millions of hectares burned down. Consequently, under this consideration, EU was aware and revise [the law]. This revision is making palm oil companies experience major losses.”

Furthermore, he said that because of this revision, UE finally considering to use palm oil from independent small holders [farmers] instead of companies, as the lands managed are no more than two hectares and have rights on lands. To support this decision, Indonesia should have been supporting through agrarian reform program.

Reports by Dewi Purningsih