by Linda Yulisman for the Jakarta Post
The visit by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to assess crude palm oil quality may have a positive outcome and could eventually boost exports to the US.
In January last year, the agency announced that Indonesian biodiesel produced from palm oil could only reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 17 percent.
Palm oil biodiesel was then removed from the list of environmentally friendly commodities as it does not meet the 20 percent benchmark to qualify as “renewable” under the Renewable Fuel Standards.
Had palm oil diesel been included in the list, it would enjoy an import tariff reduction up to 5 percent.
This week’s visit is the second tour by the EPA to Indonesia following one last October when they surveyed an oil palm plantation in Riau and held talks with smallholders. They also met with the government and industry groups.
Trade Minister Gita Wirjawan said on Wednesday that the visit was crucial for the US agency as its findings should be announced by the end of July.
“We hope the agency will come up with a favorable result for us and this will help us to put palm oil on the environmental goods list with APEC [the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation],” he said.
EPA officials had collected information during their first visit in October but the data was not
followed up, apparently due to internal restructuring.
Two agriculture products — palm oil and rubber — are being pushed towards APEC’s list of environmentally-friendly commodities ahead of the APEC summit in Bali, in October.
This excerpt from a news article appeared in and is courtesy of the Jakarta Post. To read the full article click here.