National

RI insists on bid to chair
UN climate body

Indonesia will announce its candidate to contest the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) top post next week, but three of four names tipped to chair the position at the international body refused to be nominated.

The deadline to submit candidate nominees to the UN office will close on March 31. Indonesian nominees will compete with nominations from Costa Rica, India and South Africa to replace Yvo de Boer.

Special assistant to President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono on climate change issues, Agus Purnomo, said that Indonesia would go ahead to race the climate top post with recruitment of the candidate conducted by the Foreign Ministry.

“There will be a meeting with President Yudhoyono to approve a candidate to represent Indonesia to bid for the executive secretary post at the UNFCCC,” he told The Jakarta Post on Thursday.

Purnomo is among potential candidates along with former foreign minister Hassan Wirajuda, former environment minister Rachmat Witoelar and expert to environment minister on international cooperation Liana Bratasida.

The last three candidates — Hassan, Rachmat and Liana — have refused to be nominated.

“I have talked with Environment Minister Pak Gusti Muhammad Hatta and told him I was not ready for the post,” Liana said Thursday.

She said that Minister Gusti had asked her to compete the post.

Liana was former member of the UN Clean Development Mechanism executive board that was tasked to determine whether the carbon projects were approved.

At the Bonn climate meeting last year, Liana was named the Subsidiary Body for Implementation chairwoman to discuss crucial issues including the emission cut target, financing, mitigation and technology transfer.

Rachmat, chairman of the National Council on Climate Change, said that he was not interested in the post and wanted to focus on strengthening the country’s position in global climate talks.

Rachmat was former president of the Conference of Parties to the UNFCCC during the Bali climate talks in 2007, which produced the much-hailed Bali road map.

De Boer, who announced his resignation in February, will leave the UN office in July, just months before negotiators from 190 countries will gather again to hammer out a long-delayed binding treaty on emission cut targets.

As of March, Costa Rica, India and South Africa are among countries that have announced their
interest in racing the climate-change post.

Indian environment secretary Vijay Sharma and South African tourism minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk first made the public announcement to race the post. Costa Rica planned to nominate its lead climate negotiator Christiana

Figueres, who has had a long career in the UNFCCC and has been a Costa Rica negotiating team member since 1995.

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