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Paul Hodson, the European Commission Directorate-General for Transport and Energy (TREN) said this in explaining to dissatisfied Malaysian officials on how its scientists had derived the 19 per cent level for palm oil compared to rapeseed (38 per cent), sunflower (51 per cent) and soya (31 per cent).
"If this figure is changed, then the EU will have problems in also changing the numbers to the directive," he explained.
He also said that Malaysian officials had spoken to the Commission on changing the figure.
Hodson was speaking at a palm oil sustainability forum on, Biofueling Europe: Sustainable Production, organised by the SME Union in conjunction with a working visit by the Minister of Plantation Industries and Commodities, Tan Sri Bernard Dompok.
Dompok is leading a palm oil and timber mission to Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium from Nov 10-21.
During the forum, the chief executive officer of the Malaysian Palm Oil Council (MPOC) Tan Sri Dr Yusof Basiron lambasted the EU figure as that gathered by the industry experts had shown the carbon emission savings level to be about 60 per cent and with the "methane capture process", it was pushed to a further 80 per cent.
He also voiced concern that the implementation programmes with regards to the renewable energy directive, would be biased, with creeping protectionist elements which violates WTO rules.
Hodson, meanwhile, said the EU scientists would look at the views put forward and decide if there was a need to change the carbon emission savings figure for palm oil.
Meanwhile, the EU renewable energy directive has among others, proposed an overall binding target of a 20 per cent share of renewable energy sources in energy consumption and a 10 per cent minimum target for biofuels in transport by 2020.
Hodson said the legislation is creating a market for biofuel.
He stated that instead of too much emphasis being given to countries such as United States and China, there was a need for Europe to work together with countries like Brazil and Malaysia, which play a key role in renewable energy.
"While, it is impossible to meet all the sustainable criteria, palm oil has done very well so far.
"As to whether conversion of land is responsible for the loss of carbon stock, we need to understand this from the Malaysian perspective," he said.
Meanwhile, touching on the bad press for palm oil, Yusof said Malaysia would bring up at the upcoming Copenhagen climate talks, the fact that the country is a nett carbon sink, since 56 per cent of it is under forest cover and another 25 percent being agriculture land.
As such Malaysia,he highlighted, has been clearing the carbon emission of others and this is an early contribution by the country, which has not been given due recognition.
Yusof said the industry could not open up more land and had to concentrate on ways to increase production yield.
However, he pointed out that there was still available land for oil palm cultivation, in Africa.
He also expressed the view that despite all the positive things being done, palm oil was still getting a raw deal following the EU directive and campaigns by NGOs. — Bernama