Environmental NGOs Need to Support Palm Oil Biofuel

We recommend that environmental NGOs promote palm oil biofuel in a structured, systematic and massive ways. Opposing palm oil biofuel actually increases the consumption of fossil fuel which is known to be the main cause of global warming

Both local and international Environmental NGOs often speak up about global environmental preservation. One of the campaign themes that is often carried out is the need to reduce global carbon dioxide gas emissions to prevent even more severe global warming. Global warming must be stopped so that changes in the global environment (global climate change) such as floods, droughts, storms, which almost occur at any time in various countries can be avoided or reduced. Of course, we agree with the need for joint efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

According to the International Energy Agency (2014), the world’s largest source of carbon dioxide emissions is from energy consumption of fossil fuels such as diesel, premium, avtur, kerosene, LPG and coal. About 70 percent of global carbon dioxide emissions come from fossil energy consumption. Therefore, the reduction in fossil energy consumption needs to be carried out together by all people in the world, so that carbon dioxide emissions do not increase and the earth does not get any hotter.

Reducing fossil energy consumption means that the world community must reduce various activities that are excessive in using fossil energy. Reducing the use of motorized vehicles (transportation). The use of land, sea and air transportation must be reduced; the same thing also goes for factories. Likewise, the use of refrigerators, air conditioners, water heaters, air heaters and others must be reduced. Even food consumption such as livestock products, and rice, which is the largest emitter of carbon emissions, must also be reduced. In short, comfort, luxury or well-being must be reduced. Unfortunately, none of the people on planet Earth are willing to reduce their welfare.

If they are not willing to reduce their welfare, there are still other solutions, which is replacing a portion of fossil energy with biofuel energy. Diesel should be replaced by biodiesel, premium should be replaced by bioethanol / biopremium, natural gas should be replaced by biogas, avtur should be replaced by bio-avtur and diesel electricity should be replaced by bio-diesel electricity. Biofuel is more environmentally friendly (low carbon dioxide emissions) and can be renewed (renewable energy).

The available sources of biofuels are oil palm plantations, which produce palm oil and palm biomass. From palm oil, biodiesel (FAME) has been produced instead of diesel fuel. This year Indonesia targets the use of 20 percent biodiesel (B-20). We need to accelerate this program so that the use of biodiesel as a mixture of diesel fuel can reach an average of 50 percent (B-50), thereby reducing diesel use.

Meanwhile, bioethanol can be produced from oil palm biomass to replace a portion of premium. Currently, the potential of Indonesian palm biomass that can be produced is around 16 million tons of bioethanol or about 40 percent of Indonesia’s premium needs. In addition, biogas can be produced from palm oil factories waste for electricity generation (bio-electricity). If we can accelerate the mix between fossil energy with palm oil biofuel, we can reduce carbon dioxide emissions from fossil energy consumption. As a result of the European Commission study of replacing diesel fuel with palm biodiesel, it can reduce about 62 percent of diesel / diesel carbon dioxide emissions. So that Indonesia’s target to reduce emissions by 20 percent, is easily achieved by using palm biofuel as much as possible.

For this reason, we need to fully support the use of palm biofuel as a substitute for fossil fuels; in Indonesia, in the MEA region and also internationally. If environmental NGOs really have a noble purpose in conserving the environment, it is better to promote palm biofuel in a structured, systematic and massive ways. In opposite, opposing palm oil means supporting global warming that is getting worse due to the increasing consumption of fossil energy.

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