Development of palm oil industry is against GHG emission reduction program.

Pengembangan industri sawit Indonesia bertentangan dengan program nasional pengurangan emisi GHG.

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President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono promised in 2009 to the world to reduce Indonesian GHG emissions by 26 percent (by working alone) and 41 percent (with international assistance) by the year 2020. This was followed by a letter of intent between the Indonesian government and the Norwegian government in the Framework of REDD+ on May 26, 2010.And one year later on May 20, 2011 Presidential Instruction No. 10/2011, known as the forest and peatland moratorium, was issued. The presidential instruction was later extended in 2013 and again in 2015.

Regardless of the controversy, the Indonesian oil palm industry presents two solution combinations to reduce Indonesian GHG emissions. The first solution is through a mandatory policy of reducing the use of diesel fuel by replacing it with oil palm biodiesel. Replacement of diesel fuel with biodiesel reduces diesel engine emissions by 62 percent (European Commission. JRC, 2012). If this policy was fully realized, it could reduce emissions by 10.3 million tons of CO2 (2015) and 24.6 million tons of CO2 (2020). The second solution is through carbon dioxide absorption by oil palm plantations. Oil palm plantations absorb 64.5 tons of CO2 per hectare net so that the existing plantations can absorb about 691 million tons of carbon dioxide.

Experience of biodiesel implementation in Indonesia in the 2014-2016 period (Figure) shows that there is a saving in the use of fossil diesel fuel accumulatively of 4.9 million tons, thereby reducing CO2 emissions by 12 million tons of CO2.

Therefore, the Indonesian palm oil industry is part of the solution of its GHG emissions-reduction program. The bigger the volume of diesel oil replaced by palm oil biodiesel, the greater the reduction of GHG emissions. Likewise, the more oil palm plantations, the higher amount of carbon dioxide will be able to be absorbed.

The Indonesian experience needs to be introduced to other countries. The government should bring its Global Emission Reduction proposal with the Mandatory Oil Palm Biofuel to international forums, including in the United States and the European Union. Indonesia should stop begging for environmental funding.

Advanced countries, currently the largest GHG producers, have to be brave enough to change their consumption of fossil fuel to biofuel from, among other sources, palm oil. They have so far made no significant contribution to the efforts toward global emissions reduction, but rather they have shifted the blame by looking for weaknesses in palm oil producers using upside down logic.

Presiden Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono tahun 2009 menjanjikan ke dunia internasional untuk mengurangi emisi GHG Indonesia sebesar 26 persen (dengan usaha sendiri) dan 41 persen (dengan bantuan internasional) menuju tahun 2020. Kemudian dilanjutkan dengan LoI Pemerintah Indonesia dengan pemerintah Norwegia dalam Kerangka REDD+tanggal 26 Mei 2010. Dan setahun kemudian tanggal 20 Mei 2011 diterbitkan Inpres No. 10/2011 yang dikenal dengan moratorium hutan dan lahan gambut. Inpres tersebut kemudian diperpanjang lagi tahun 2013 dan tahun 2015.

Terlepas dari kontroversi rencana tersebut, dari industri minyak sawit Indonesia menghadirkan dua kombinasi solusi untuk mengurangi emisi GHG Indonesia tersebut. Pertama, Melalui kebijakan mandatori yang sedang berlangsung, pengurangan penggunaan diesel dengan menggantikannya dengan biodiesel sawit. Penggantian solar dengan biodiesel menghemat emisi mesin diesel 62 persen (European Commission, JRC, 2012). Jika direalisasikan kebijakan tersebut secara penuh dapat menghemat emisi sebesar 10,3 juta ton CO2 (2015) dan 24,6 juta ton CO2 (2020). Kedua, Melalui penyerapan karbon dioksida oleh perkebunan kelapa sawit. Perkebunan kelapa sawit secara netto menyerap CO2 64,5 ton CO2 per hektar maka dengan luas perkebunan yang ada dapat menyerap karbon dioksida sekitar 691 juta ton.

Pengalaman implementasi biodiesel di Indonesia dalam kurun waktu 2014-2016 (Gambar) menunjukkan bahwa terjadi penghematan penggunaan solar fosil secara akumulatif sebesar 4,9 juta ton. Sehingga mengurangi emisi CO2 sebesar 12 juta ton CO2.

Dengan demikian, industri minyak sawit Indonesia merupakan bagian dari solusi dari program pengurangan emisi GHG Indonesia. Semakin besar volume solar yang digantikan oleh biodiesel sawit, semakin besar penghematan emisi GHG. Demikian juga semakin luas perkebunan sawit semakin banyak karbon dioksida yang diserap.

Pengalaman Indonesia tersebut perlu ditularkan ke negara-negara lain. Seharusnya pemerintah membawa proposal Pengurangan Emisi Global dengan Mandatori Biofuel Sawit dalam forum-forum internasional termasuk ke Amerika Serikat dan Uni Eropa. Bukan ikut-ikutan mengemis dana lingkungan seperti selama ini.

Negara-negara maju penghasil GRK terbesar selama ini harus berani mengalihkan konsumsi BBM fosil ke biofuel antara lain dari minyak sawit. Tidak ada kontribusi yang signifikan pada upaya penurunan emisi global dengan mengalihkan persoalan utama yakni mencari-cari kelemahan produsen sawit dengan logika yang jungkir balik.

Figure Reduction of Indonesia’s CO2 emissions due to mandatory biodiesel 2014-2016

Reduction of Indonesia’s CO2 emissions due to mandatory biodiesel 2014-2016

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