Malaysia's Prime Minister called on Britain to engage with palm oil growers

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  • 19 Aug 2019 12:00 AM
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Malaysian PM Urges Britain to ‘break With Europe’ on Palm Oil

Malaysia's Prime Minister, Mahathir Mohamad, called on Britain to engage with palm oil growers to incentivise sustainable production, rather than pursuing boycotts after its scheduled exit from the European Union (EU) on October 31. Mahathir’s comments, carried in an opinion column for news agency Bloomberg, follow a move by the EU to phase out palm oil usage in biofuels. Top growers Indonesia and Malaysia have said they would file a complaint to the World Trade Organization to challenge the move. In March, the European Commission had determined that palm oil cultivation had resulted in excessive deforestation and it should no longer be considered a renewable transport fuel, although with some exemptions. While Mahathir acknowledged the importance of environmental sustainability and deforestation in trade talks, he said, “The answer is not to single out one commodity and ban it” and called the EU’s move “a form of modern colonialism that has no place in today’s world”.

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