Indonesia has formally challenged the recent greenhouse gas analysis of Palm Oil issued by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), saying that Palm Oil-based bio-fuel is not qualified to join the renewable fuel program in the World’s energy market, local media reported Saturday.
According to the Indonesian Palm Oil Producers’ Association (Gapki), greenhouse gas emissions can be reduced by Palm Oil-based bio-fuel by up to 50%, higher than the 20% required by the EPA.
Gapki’s calculation, revealed Friday, is quite similar to the previous estimate put forward by the Indonesian Sustainable Palm Oil Commission which, based on joint research with an international research agency, maintained that Indonesian Palm Oil based bio-fuel could cut between 40 and 60% of greenhouse gasses based on the method in accordance with European Union (EU) rules.
In its recent regulatory filing, the EPA said that Palm Oil based bio-fuel could cut greenhouse emissions by just 17%, falling short of the 20% threshold, to be included in US renewable-fuel standards.
In its formal response submitted on 26 April, Gapki also mentioned that Palm Oil production was more efficient in terms of land use than any other vegetable oil, because as a perennial it could produce fruit for up to 25 yrs, and could not be compared to other vegetable oils, such as soybean oil, used in the EPA’s calculations, the Jakarta Post reported.
The EPA earlier said that its carbon accounting for palm-oil bio-fuel was based partly on the “incremental expansion” of Oil Palm plantations in Indonesia and Malaysia, which account for up to 90% of the World’s Palm-Oil supply, producing a projected 1.5-M kiloliters of bio-fuel for the US by Y 2022.
The 2 countries would produce nearly 2-M tons of carbon dioxide per year over 30 yrs as a result of clearing peat swamps and forests to expand plantations in order to meet US bio-fuel demand, the EPA stated.
The Indonesian Trade Ministry’s director general for foreign trade, Deddy Saleh, said that in response, the government pointed to the use of assumptions rather than hard data in the EPA’s calculations, which were not representative of real conditions.