Climate Diplomacy Week Opens in Jakarta


SEPTEMBER 13, 2016

Jakarta. In preparation of the next United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change’s 22nd Conference of Parties, the COP 22 for short, the European Union and France launched Climate Diplomacy Week in Jakarta on Tuesday (13/09).

As Indonesia is one of the 179 countries that have signed the Paris Agreement, the event highlighted Indonesia’s progress with climate change mitigation, and the EU’s commitment in supporting sustainable development in the country.

"The Paris Agreement should not be considered as an outcome, but simply the beginning of the way towards a genuinely carbon-free world that the states have agreed upon in December," French ambassador to Indonesia Corinne Breuzé said.

As France is already well underway on its final process to ratification, she said the French COP presidency will fully support similar efforts in developing countries, including Indonesia.

"We are also advocating the Action Agenda, and strongly support the efforts from developing and emerging countries to put into action their NDCs [nationally determined contributions]," Breuzé said.

She also vouched for climate financing and said France will fully support Indonesia’s path to sustainable development by financing renewable energy through foreign finance institutions and donors.

With Indonesia already pledging to reduce carbon emissions by 29 percent and 41 percent through international aid by 2030 , the EU said it will provide help in three main sectors: education, spatial planning and forest management.

"On peatland management, we already have €25 million ($28 million) earmarked for a project with Asean and Germany for Indonesia and Malaysia," EU Ambassador to Indonesia Vincent Guérend said.

Guérend said Indonesia is on the right path to sustainable development, having secured a Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) certification on timber.

The EU's FLEGT Action Plan was established in 2003 with an aim to reduce illegal logging by strengthening sustainable and legal forest management, improving governance and promoting trade in legally produced timber.

Indonesia has been in the spotlight for illegal logging over the past decades ever since palm oil became a boom commodity and the number one cause of deforestation. Plantations often clear land for new oil palm fields by lighting up forest fires, leaving Indonesia as one of the world's leading carbon emission contributor and taking major chunks of the country's rain forest at one fell swoop.

But the archipelago is currently catching up to meet the standard of climate change frameworks. Indonesia's Environment and Forestry Minister, Siti Nurbaya, said that forest governance on palm oil will follow, as the government intends to put a stop to deforestation.

"Forest land allocation is the cause of the trouble, and we are dealing with that by taking control of the licensing, as license is the instrument for control," Siti said.

The minister said a team from her ministry has been lobbying with the parliament and the government, and will continue talks this week.