Thursday, 20 January, 2022

Palm oil: a second vote is needed in the face of the outcry

Majority and opposition MPs call for a new ballot after the controversial vote Thursday on re-integrating palm oil into biofuels until 2026, but “at this stage” the government does not plan a further deliberation on Friday . Prime Minister Edouard Philippe asked for a second vote on Friday after the adoption the day before of a controversial amendment reintegrating palm oil into biofuels until 2026, “noting the lack of sufficient debate on such an important subject “, Matignon told AFP.

The second deliberation “will allow parliamentarians to feed a debate up to the challenge”, explained the entourage of the head of government. From a parliamentary source, this second vote will take place on Friday.

The National Assembly voted on Thursday to postpone the exclusion of palm oil from the list of biofuels, which benefit from a tax advantage, to 2026. This measure is favorable to the oil group Total for its new biorefinery in La Mède, near Marseille, but arouses the indignation of environmental associations.

“At this stage, it is not planned” to vote again on this measure, told AFP the Ministry of Action and Public Accounts. The Finance Committee of the Assembly is due to meet at midday on this point, the general rapporteur Joël Giraud (LREM) having requested a new deliberation.

Amendment passed “in 2 seconds”

The deputies had adopted last year the exit of palm oil from biofuels as from January 1, 2020. But Thursday, “the amendment passed in two seconds” with “unfavorable opinion of the general rapporteur, favorable of the government, without any debate! It is an error to be made up in second reading “, estimates the” walker “Bénédicte Peyrol on Twitter.

“We got screwed! (…) If the group asks me, I will demand a second deliberation”, reacted to AFP Joël Giraud on the night of Thursday to Friday.

The voted amendment is co-signed by MoDem, LREM and LR elected officials from Bouches-du-Rhône where the refinery is located. It was not the subject of any debate in session.

At the MoDem, Bruno Millienne, who led the release of palm oil from biofuels last year, said he was “disgusted”, especially since the amendment was co-signed by his colleague Mohamed Laqhila. The centrist group stresses that yesterday’s vote “is not a group amendment but an individual amendment”.

For the president (ex-LR) of Hauts-de-France Xavier Bertrand, “it’s a stab at the local development of biofuels! Other solutions (than palm oil) exist and are not responsible ecological disasters! “.

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