Biodiesel Program Could Increase Deforestation Rate

Summary

Indonesia's biodiesel program is under the spotlight again due to its ability to cause environmental damage. Traction Energy Asia research manager, Ricky Amukti, argued that increasing the biodiesel content could lead to more land clearing to increase oil palm production, which is hazardous for the ecosystem. Besides, biodiesel plants also pose a particular danger to the environment for using hazardous chemicals and producing liquid waste which contains methane gas. Methane emissions produced from these plants are reportedly more dangerous than those of biodiesel.

Previously, the Institute for Essential Services Reform (IESR) study in June 2021 also mentioned that the land expansion triggered by the biodiesel program might lead to environmental and social consequences. The risk will be smaller if there is a policy to reduce CPO exports for domestic purposes. However, the number of exports keeps increasing, but the production rate only goes up only about 0.34 percent per year.

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