JOURNAL MONITOR EDITION 9 : PALM OIL INDUSTRY AS PART OF THE GLOBAL WARMING AND CLIMATE CHANGE SOLUTION

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Indonesian, English

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  • Indonesian

Indonesia’s oil palm plantations and palm oil industry are always blamed as the main contributors to global warming and global climate change. The accusation thrown by the anti-palm oil NGOs is a black campaign to damage the image of palm oil in global consumers. Based on existing data, the allegations proved hoax news. In fact, oil palm plantations are able to present solutions to reduce GHG emissions so it can minimize the impacts arising from global warming and global climate change.

Oil palm is also a green plant that has role as as the “lungs” of the ecosystem, due to  the ability to photosynthesize by absorbing carbon dioxide from the earth’s atmosphere and producing oxygen to the earth’s atmosphere. Each ha of oil palm plantation absorbs a net 64.5 tons of carbon dioxide each year and produces about 18.7 tons of oxygen. Meanwhile, a forest’s net absorption amounts to about 42.4 tons of carbon dioxide each year and it produces about 7.1 tons of oxygen. This showed that oil palm plantation is superior to forests in the function of absorb carbon dioxide and produced oxygen.

Besides, re-absorbing carbon dioxide as the main source of earth’s GHG emissions, the oil palm industry is also able to contribute to reducing or saving emissions through the provision of palm oil biofuels as sustainable energy and low carbon emissions. The oil palm industry is able to produce first generation biofuel energy (biodiesel and greenfuel) from palm oil, second generation of biofuel energy (bioethanol, biopellet, biogas/bio-electricity, biobara) from oil palm biomass, and third generation of biofuel energy (biogas/biolistrik and algae biodiesel) from POME.

 

Oil palm biofuel used as fossil energy alternative, which is as main source of carbon emission. Biodiesel (FAME) is one of the oil palm biofuel has been used  energy that has been developed and used by the people of Indonesia and other countries. Based on a study by the Euro Lex (2009, revealed that palm oil biodiesel can saving about 62 percent of emissions lower than fossil fuel emissions. The capability of palm oil biodiesel to saving emissiins is higher than other vegetable biodiesel such as rapeseed biodiesel, soy biodiesel and sunflower biodiesel. Many scientific studies conducted by experts also show the ability to saving emissions by palm biodiesel ranging from 40-71 percent

The uniqueness of  the biofuel from oil palm that is able to be produced jointly and does not replace each other (trade-off). The huge potential for renewable energy alternatives and low emissions produced in the form of first, second and third generation, showed the large contribution of the palm oil industry to saving and reducing GHG emissions. So that it is expected to minimize global warming and climate change.

Kebun sawit dan industri sawit Indonesia selalu dikambinghitamkan sebagai kontributor utama penyebab pemanasan global dan perubahan iklim global.  Tuduhan yang dilemparkan oleh LSM anti sawit tersebut merupakan black campaign untuk merusak citra minyak sawit di mata konsumen. Berdasarkan data, tuduhan tersebut terbukti berita bohong. Faktanya, kebun sawit mampu menghadirkan solusi untuk mengurangi emisi GRK sehingga dapat meminimalisir dampak yang ditimbulkan dari pemanasan global dan perubahan iklim global.

Kelapa sawit juga merupakan tumbuhan hijau yang beperan sebagai “paru-paru” ekosistem karena memiliki kemampuan berfotosintesis dengan menyerap karbon dioksida dari atmosfer bumi dan menghasilkan oksigen ke atmosfer bumi. Secara netto, satu hektar kebun sawit mampu menyerap 64.5 ton karbon dioksida dan memproduksi 18.7 ton oksigen setiap tahunnya. Sementara itu, satu hektar hutan secara netto hanya mampu menyerap sekitar 42.4 ton karbon dioksida dan menghasilkan oksigen sekitar 7.1 ton. Hal ini menunjukkan bahwa perkebunan kelapa sawit lebih unggul daripada hutan dalam fungsi penyerapan karbon dioksida dari atmosfer bumi dan produksi oksigen.

Selain menyerap kembali karbon dioksida sebagai sumber utama emisi GRK bumi, industri sawit juga mampu berkontribusi untuk menurunkan atau menghematan emisi melalui penyediaan biofuel sawit sebagai energi berkelanjutan dan rendah emisi karbon. Industri sawit mampu menghasilkan energi biofuel generasi pertama (biodiesel dan greenfuel) dari minyak sawit, energi biofuel generasi kedua (biopremium/biogasoline/bioethanol, biopelet, biogas/biolistrik, biobara) dari biomassa sawit, dan energi biofuel generasi ketiga (biogas/biolistrik dan biodiesel algae) dari POME.

Biofuel sawit digunakan sebagai altenatif energi fosil yang selama ini menjadi sumber GRK utama. Biodiesel (FAME) adalah salah sati biofuel sawit yang telah dikembangkan di digunakan baik di Indonesia maupun seluruh dunia. Berdasarkan kajian Euro Lex (2009), mengungkapkan biodiesel sawit mampu menghemat emisi sekitar 62 persen lebih rendah dibandingkan dengan emisi yang dihasilkan dari fosil. Kemampuan biodiesel sawit tersebut juga lebih tinggi dibandingkan biodiesel nabati lain seperti biodiesel rapeseed, biodiesel kedelai, dan biodiesel bunga matahari. Banyak kajian ilmiah yang dilakukan para ahli juga menunjukkan kemampuan penghematan emisi oleh biodiesel sawit  berkisar sebesar 40-71 persen.

Uniknya biofuel yang mampu dihasilkan oleh industri sawit tersebut, diproduksi secara bersama (joint product) dan tidak saling menggantikan (tradeoff). Besarnya potensi alternatif energi terbarukan dan rendah emisi yang dihasilkan baik berupa generasi pertama, kedua dan ketiga, menunjukkan besarnya kontribusi industri sawit dalam menghemat dan menurunkan emisi GRK sehingga diharapkan dapat meminimalisir pemanasan global dan perubahan iklim yang terjadi.

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