This past week, the EU Parliament voted through a draconian new proposal for a Deforestation Regulation. The aim of the Regulation is obvious: make it harder and more expensive for Indonesian palm oil – and other developing world commodities such as coffee and cocoa – to sell into the EU market.
Joko Supriyono, Chairman of the Indonesian Palm Oil Association (GAPKI) said:
“The vote is a step towards another EU trade ban on Indonesian palm oil. The EU Parliament is showing a clear disregard for Indonesia, the largest economy in Southeast Asia. The Parliament’s proposal undermines forest protection, by pursuing confrontation instead of cooperation. Norway’s agreement with Indonesia is a constructive approach; the EU’s approach is unilateral and antagonistic.”
The EU Commission and Council will now join the Parliament in the final negotiations. Common sense must prevail: sustainable commodities from friendly nations should not be targeted in this way.