KOTA KINABALU: Any palm oil that is used in biofuels should be certified as sustainable, according to head of European operations at the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil, Inke van der Sluijs.

“RSPO’s view on biofuels is that if there is palm oil in biofuel, it should be certified sustainable. We do not necessarily promote the use of palm oil as a product. The EU requires that... there is regulations in place to ensure that vegetables oil used in biofuels is certified sustainable,” she said when asked to comment on the European Union’s move of phasing out the use of palm oil in transport fuels by 2030.

Malaysia, the world’s second largest palm oil producer, has been kept on its toes following the EU’s decision and the government in turn has been taking initiatives to engage with the European bloc on the matter.

van der Sluijs said there is still room to step up the uptake of RSPO certified sustainable palm oil in the market as it only makes up for 19% of total global palm oil production, of which only 50% is sold in the market as sustainable palm oil.

However, she said the 50% figure is highly debatable because there are plantations which have double certification from RSPO and other schemes, hence some might opt to use the other certifications to sell their products in the market.