EU is “Dirtier and More Environmental Damaging” Compared to Indonesia

The European Union (EU) has linked environmental issues to stopping the use of palm oil in the EU (RED II) biodiesel program. Palm oil production accused of using ex-forest and peat land that increases emissions of greenhouse gases such as carbon gas, nitrite gas, and methane gas. Allegations of these emissions are very discriminatory because they are only directed at oil palm and do not apply to soybean oil, rapeseed oil and sunflower oil.

If EU uses these accusations of environmental problems to boycott oil palm to the EU market, it is the time for Indonesia to use environmental issues from the EU to “boycott” EU products.

As reported by the International Energy Agency (2017) and researchers such as Oliver, et. Al. (2017) Trends in Global CO2 and Total Greenhouse Gas Emission, from the PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency, revealed that: First, total EU emissions in 2016 reached 4.43 Giga tons of CO2 eq, while Indonesia’s total emissions are only 0.92 Giga tons of CO2 eq. This means EU emissions are almost 500 percent higher than Indonesia’s emissions. Second, emissions per EU resident reaches 6.75 tons CO2 eq/year, while emissions per Indonesian population are only 2.03 tons of CO2 eq or emissions per EU community are more than 300 percent above emissions per Indonesian person. Third, the emissions of artificial gas (halogen gas, F) are the most dangerous and cause damage to the earth’s ozone layer. EU’s halogen gas emissions has reached 196 million tons of CO2 eq, while Indonesia is only less than one million tons.

In addition to polluting the earth’s atmosphere, EU emissions also damage the earth’s ozone layer, causing global warming and global climate change. With a comparison of these emissions, it is very clear that the EU is 500 percent “dirtier” and “more destructive” to the environment, compared to Indonesia.

With the principle that the environment is inseparable, each of the products produced by the EU is a product that is “dirtier” and “more destructive” to the global environment, compared to the products produced by Indonesia.

As the EU uses the concept of linking deforestation to importing vegetable oil to the EU, Indonesia needs to adopt emissions related to imports of products from the EU (embodied GHG emission). Just as EU applies environmental tax (pigouvian tax) in the form of import tariffs and non-tariffs for palm oil, the same way Indonesia has the right to apply pigouvian tax to all EU products.

The method of retaliation with the same principle, is in accordance with the principles of WTO fair trade. Even Law No. 7 of 2014 concerning Trade, requires the government to carry out trade protection policies including retaliation, if any other country’s policies harm Indonesian products. For this, the Indonesian Parliament needs to ask the government to immediately adopt the embodied GH emission principle against EU policies that discriminate against Indonesian palm oil products.

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