KATADATA - The Coordinating Economic Affairs Minister Darmin Nasution believes that responsibility for the development of crude palm oil (CPO), as a sustainable energy source, should belong to both Indonesia, as a producer, and industrialised nations as consumers. (Read: Biodiesel Program will cut Fuel Import by 6.9 Million Kiloliters)
Darmin said that making optimal use of CPO would help alleviate world poverty, ensure a clean environment, and improve the economies of many nations. For this reason, he urges industrialised nations to help develop this sustainable source of energy. He wants them to take the concrete step of funding this development by paying premium prices of CPO.
He admits that a small increase in the price of CPO to US$ 565 a ton would help to support the B20 biodiesel program. The government introduced it last year in a bid to develop more sustainable energy sources and cut Indonesia’s oil imports. (Read: CPO Price slumps, Gapki: Biodiesel Program must be evaluated)
In Darmin’s opinion, paying a little extra would be more helpful than boycotting countries like Iran and North Korea. “Boycotts are never a win-win solution. They (industrialised countries) should help fund development of this sustainable energy source,” he added.
According to Darmin, developing CPO as a sustainable energy source would be a perfect solution to help meet the COP21 commitment to reduce global warming. Combining CPO with diesel to form biodiesel would reduce carbon emissions by up to 29 percent in 2030, and by up to 41 percent with international help.
“So, the government is planning to focus on planting more oil palm in low-productivity areas to increase production,” Darmin added. One hectare of CPO plantation can produce around 3.8 tons of oil, which at current prices is worth around US$ 2,150. (Read: Darmin to Focus on Two Business Areas to Boost the Industrial Sector)
CPO plantations are also major employers, and their development would create jobs and provide opportunities for unemployed people.