Malaysia can help reduce aviation industry carbon footprint with palm oil biofuel, says Teresa Kok

Teresa Kok said the move fulfils Malaysia’s commitment as a member of the ICAO, to adopt and employ the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation to reduce carbon footprint. ― Picture by Choo Choy May
Teresa Kok said the move fulfils Malaysia’s commitment as a member of the ICAO, to adopt and employ the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation to reduce carbon footprint. ― Picture by Choo Choy May

KUALA LUMPUR, April 27 — Primary Industries Minister Teresa Kok said the ministry is planning to produce biofuel using palm oil for the aviation industry, in a bid to boost palm oil sales and to reduce carbon emissions.

In a special media interview on Thursday, Kok said the move fulfils Malaysia’s commitment as a member of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), to adopt and employ the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (Corsia) to reduce carbon footprint.

She explained that under Corsia, airlines that emit carbon dioxide exceeding 10,000 tonnes yearly must report their carbon emission data for monitoring from January 2019 and this would become mandatory for all international airlines beginning 2027.

“This is an innovative approach and it’s consumer friendly.

“The usage of palm oil biofuel has been accepted by Corsia as one of the initiatives to reduce carbon emission,” Kok said during an interview to commemorate Pakatan Harapan’s (PH) first year as the federal government.

Addressing environmental concerns from the European Union (EU), Kok said that the government has also taken the lead in revamping the image of the palm oil sector here, which is often blamed for displacing wildlife and deforestation.

“We admit that there were perhaps some issues which were not right, which perhaps happened in the past, but now, we will continue efforts to ensure that the palm oil industry grows sustainably, and this is important to deflect the accusations made towards the industry,” she said.

Kok said her ministry had launched a special programme to plant one million trees in degraded areas in Sabah last month, which also included several nature conservation efforts.

One of the initiatives is to build a special wildlife corridor.

“To create a wildlife corridor for the Orangutans and elephants in Sungai Kinabatangan, and this would involve several companies which own palm oil plantations in areas in the vicinity.

“We will also document the activities under this project, to show the world, especially Europe, that Malaysia is practicing sustainable palm oil planting, by protecting forests and wild lives, as well as taking responsibility to rehabilitate degraded forests in nearby areas,” Kok added.

She said that the effort is also a corporate social responsibility for palm oil companies, and Malaysia in general to maintain Malaysia’s forested areas at 50 per cent.

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