Environment and Forestry Minister Siti Nurbaya Bakar at the United Nations headquarters in New York in this April 22, 2016 file photo. (Reuters Photo/Mike Segar)

Indonesia Attends MEF on Climate Change in New York


APRIL 25, 2016

Jakarta. Seventeen members of the Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate met in New York on Sunday (24/04) to discuss the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.

Indonesia was represented by Rachmat Witoelar, the chief of President Joko Widodo's Working Unit for Climate Change Control (UKP-PPI), along with officials from the Ministry of Environmental Affairs and Forestry, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the head of the University of Indonesia's Climate Change Research Center.

The MEF meeting took place following the signing of the Paris Agreement on climate change by 175 countries at the United Nations headquarters in New York on Friday last week.

The forum focused discussed the ratification results from the Climate Change Global Forum that was held in the French capital in December 2015, known as the Paris Agreement.

The 17 nations also talked about the next global conference on climate change, or Conference of Parties 22, that will take place in Marrakesh, Morocco, at the end of the year.

"Indonesia should be one of the first 55 countries to adopt the ratification process, and I hope Indonesia will immediately implement it," Rachmat said in a statement.

"This is an attempt to show Indonesia's seriousness in tackling climate change," he added.

Rachmat also emphasized the importance of local and national involvement in fighting climate change, as it will increase the scale of action and accelerate implementation.

The MEF was established in 2009 as a platform for developing and developed nations with large greenhouse gas emissions to discuss environmental conservation and plans to develop clean energy.

The other members of the MEF are Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, the European Union, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, Russia, South Africa, the United Kingdom and the United States.

The Indonesian government has set an ambitious target to cut carbon emissions in the archipelago by 29 percent by 2030. International pressure increased on the country last year when some palm-oil companies burned forests to open new areas for plantations.