Indonesia's Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi and Malaysia's Foreign Minister Saifuddin Abdullah (Credit: Indonesia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs)

JAKARTA (TheInsiderStories)Indonesia’s Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi and Malaysia’s Foreign Minister Saifuddin Abdullah agreed to cooperate to fight the negative campaign against the palm oil industry.

Marsudi on Monday (23/07) said the two countries already sent letters to the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs. “He [Abdullah] said to President Joko Widodo that there is no option for Indonesia and Malaysia except cooperate to counter the palm oil negative campaign,” she added after the meeting with Saifuddin Abdullah in Jakarta.

Meanwhile, Abdullah said the two countries agreed to intensify the cooperation to fight back against crude palm oil (CPO) negative campaign. The two countries are the biggest palm oil producers in the world that supply 80 percent of the CPO demand so that ban potentially harms the both countries’ economy. For both countries, the EU is the second biggest palm oil importer after India.

Last year, Indonesian exported a total of 28 million tonnes of crude palm oil, valued US$23 billion, contributed to 12 percent of the country’s export. While Malaysia produced around 19.5 million tonnes last year with an export value of $25 billion.

It is the first visit by Abdullah to Indonesia after being sworn as Malaysian Foreign Minister on July 2, 2018, under PM Mahathir Mohamad. The Malaysian Foreign Minister visit is a follow up of the Mahathir Mohamad visit to Indonesia on June 28-29, 2018.

EU earlier threatened the palm oil ban implemented in 2021, but then softened to start its ban in 2030. The shifting to the clean energy become the main reason the EU ban the palm oil.

EU has committed to cut CO2 emissions by at least 40 percent by 2030 while modernizing the EU’s economy and delivering on jobs and growth for all European citizens.

The EU has set itself a 20 percent energy savings target by 2020. On Nov. 30, 2016, the commission proposed an update to the Energy Efficiency Directive including a new energy efficiency target for 2030, and measures to update the Directive to make sure the new target is met.

In a statement released in June, EU said the legislative agreed the new regulatory framework includes an energy efficiency target for the EU for 2030 of 32.5 percent with an upwards revision clause by 2023. This new objective shows the EU’s high level of ambition and demonstrates the remarkable pace of change of new technologies and reduced costs through economies of scale.

It said, together with the recently agreed 32 percent renewable energy target for the EU for 2030, Europe will be equipped to complete the clean energy transition and meet the goals set by the Paris Agreement.