The Jakarta Post
A report released on Thursday by the Boston-based Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) criticized Indonesia's climate plan for limiting global warming emissions within the Agriculture, Forestry and Other Land Use (AFOLU), calling it 'disappointing'.
According to the UCS analysis, Indonesia, as an important forest nation, has failed to present a goal to end deforestation and peatland clearing, despite its target of a 29 percent emissions reduction by 2030, or 41 percent if the country receives international funding.
Indonesia made the plan for the Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) ' an outline submitted to the United Nations about what post-2020 climate actions a country intends to take in order to reduce its global warming emissions.
INDC usually stipulates the amount of carbon emissions a country plans to reduce from 2020 to 2030 and beyond to manage average global temperatures.
The UCS analysis criticized Indonesia's problematic land use, revealing that around 63 percent of Indonesia's global warming emissions come from its AFOLU sectors, mostly due to deforestation for large-scale agriculture.
According to the Tropical Forest and Climate Initiative director at the UCS, Doug Boucher, Indonesia currently has a moratorium on clearing primary forests and banned peatland clearing in 2010, but it does not indicate whether the commitments can be maintained in order to achieve its overall emissions reduction goal.
Boucher also said that Indonesia's INDC did not provide a quantified target for these activities, nor did it elaborate on the country's plan to deal with its recurring forest and peatland fires, one of the country's greatest sources of emissions in recent years.
UCS analysis shows that forest fires raging in Indonesia continue to imperil human health, wildlife and the climate.
An earlier study by the UCS found that Indonesia ' reportedly the world's largest forest-sector emitter of greenhouse gases ' has the potentials to reduce a whopping 1.7 gigatons of CO2 per year by 2020 and 0.8 gigaton of CO2 per year by 2030, if the government climate pledge led to actions stopping activities that could lead to deforestation and the clearing of peatlands.
Other than Indonesia; Brazil, India and 199 other countries have submitted their INDCs, which are expected to shape negotiations at the UN climate conference, COP21, in Paris from Nov. 30 to Dec. 11.
Indonesia's INDC was announced by the Environment and Forestry Minister Siti Nurbaya Bakar on Aug. 31 after she had presented it to President Joko 'Jokowi' Widodo, the minister forwarding it to the UN on Sept. 20.
The ministry's director general for climate change mitigation, Nur Masripatin, said that the country's INDC had yet to elaborate on specific details regarding potential actions in AFOLU.
'What is of utmost importance is that we have explained our commitment, to reduce by 29 percent emissions in 2020. We're still working on a more detailed plan,' Nur said.
She explained that every country prepared its INDC based on its capacity and its current climate conditions.
'Every country has its own considerations, we just need to be strong during the negotiation,' Nur said.
In the report, the UCS also slammed Brazil and India for being vague in their emission targets.
Brazil, home to the world's largest rainforest, has achieved the largest emissions reductions over the past decade, but currently aims at reducing its overall carbon emissions by 37 percent by 2025, with or without international financing.
Meanwhile, India only targets to reach a target of between 33 percent and 35 percent reduction of emissions by 2030, without giving details on their plan. (foy)
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