Last week, Euractiv published an opinion piece by agronomist and environmental expert, and Palm Oil Monitor co-author Pierre Bois d’Enghien. Following France’s decision to ban palm oil biofuels earlier this year, and the ongoing debate in the EU about whether or not to label palm oil as “High Risk” or “Risky”, Governments from Indonesia, Malaysia and Colombia have made it known that they would take up the issue at WTO level and warned about possible trade retaliation facing France and the EU, would they decide to ban palm oil biofuels.
“Malaysian Prime Minister Dr. Mahathir Mohamad indicated that any attempt to try to exclude palm oil biofuels in France would lead to “negative consequences for the future of Malaysia’s trading relationship with France”. Many jobs and exports (Airbus, Rafale) are on hold”.
“Moreover, it is highly possible that this issue may be the object of a complaint at WTO level, if it is confirmed that the French exclusion is not in line with EU rules and International laws”.
The EU Renewable Energy Directive (RED) Deforestation Criteria debate is waging on, following last week’s College of Commissioners’ meeting and the release of the RED Delegated Act. The situation appears to be in a deadlock as pressure, from palm oil producing countries, is mounting on the EU.