JOURNAL MONITOR EDITION 6 : OIL PALM PLANTATION IS CONSIDERED AS A CAUSE OF GLOBAL WARMING AND CLIMATE CHANGE, ISN’T RIGHT ?
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One of the black campaign themes that is currently used by anti-palm oil NGOs and western countries in order to inhibit the rate of palm oil on the world market is by accusing oil palm plantation as a major contributor in increasing Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions which cause global warming and global climate change. Although the issue has become the focus of the world community, there is still a lot of information about emissions and climate change that is not in accordance with the data and empirical facts, and also cornered oil palm plantations as the main cause of the phenomenon.
Global climate change which has been widely felt by the global community such as increased rainfall, storms, drought and fires and climate anomalies, are a result of global warming. Global warming is caused by the increasing intensity and concentration of the effect of greenhouse gasses on the earth’s atmosphere so that the radiation/heat of the sun that trapped in the earth’s atmosphere becomes larger so that it warms the temperature of the earth’s. This happens because of an increase in the concentration of GHG emissions above its natural concentration. Increased activities of human life on earth and the emergence of man-made gases are the cause of the increased concentration of GHG emissions.
According to Olivier et al. (2020), GHG emissions increased from 33 Gt CO2 eq in 1990 to 51.8 Gt CO2 eq in 2018. The largest global GHG emission concentrations were CO2 emissions (71 percent), CH4 (20 percent), NO2 (6 percent) and F- gas (3 percent). CO2 emissions was major contributor of global GHG emissions and it’s origin from fossil fuel (coal, gas and fuel) consumption and deforestation. Another GHG emissions is CFC or F-gasses emissions resulted from industry sector and household products.
Although the concentration of CFC or F-gases emissions lower than other, but they relatively more dangerous because causes depleting ozon layer. Threfore, the allegation by anti-palm oil NGOs that associated and blamed oil palm plantations as cause of global warming and climate change is incorect and incompatible with empirical facts.
In order to reduce emission, the global community has to be willing reduce fossil fuel consumption or replace them with low emission energy sources and reduce using household product which contain CFC-gasses. Although the choices seems to reduce comfort, it must be done by the global community as an effort to mitigate global warming and climate change. The solution more meaningful than to blame or “scapegoating” oil palm plantations as a cause of global warming and climate change.