PETALING JAYA: The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) says it is strategically important for the palm oil industry to tackle greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions early, instead of having to later react to government policies.
Responding to recent StarBiz articles that highlighted Malaysian oil palm growers’ objection to the fact that the revised RSPO Principles & Criteria (P&C) seek to minimise GHG emissions from new plantings, RSPO secretary general Darrel Webber said that various players along the palm oil supply chain believed that the issue of GHG emissions should be addressed now rather than later in order to stay ahead of the curve on the current discussions globally.
“In fact, some countries already have GHG-linked policies that mandate companies to report their emissions. Many other countries are exploring similar policies. It is highly strategic then to address this issue now within the RSPO rather than wait for policies (shaped without consultation) to be imposed on the industry in the near future,” he added in a statement issued to StarBiz on Friday.
The revised P&C will be tabled for adoption at the RSPO’s extraordinary general assembly in Kuala Lumpur on Thursday.
On the complaint that other agricultural activities were not subjected to similar GHG restrictions, Webber said: “The RSPO concurs that (measures to curb) GHG emissions should be applied equally across all other agricultural sectors such as food-based crops and animal breeding.
“And while the RSPO incites all other sustainability standards who have not done so to include GHG as an important consideration, we do not have to be reticent till the other initiatives take the lead on what we consider as imperative.”
He pointed out that Malaysian growers from leading organisations were represented during the review of the P&C.
“The significantly large representation of Malaysian growers at these review meetings, possibly the largest compared to other sectors, should be commended as it was an intense and laborious deliberation over a consistent period of few days in a stretch for each multi-sector meeting,” he said.
Source : The Star