The Eiffel tower is illuminated in green with the words 'Paris Agreement is Done.' (Reuters Photo/Jacky Naegelen)

Indonesia Must Reinforce Commitment to Paris Agreement in G-20 Summit: NGOs


JULY 07, 2017

Jakarta. A number of non-government organizations have joined forces in an alliance called Civil Society Forum on Foreign Policy, or ICFP, to urge the Indonesian government to prioritize national interests and strengthen its commitment to implement climate protection policies during the Group of 20 summit in Hamburg at the end of this week.

"We call on President Joko Widodo to reinforce Indonesia's commitment to the Paris agreement at the G-20 summit in Hamburg and encourage cuts in greenhouse gas emissions in the forestry sector, from peatlands and from more ambitious energy projects before 2020," executive director of Institute for Essential Service Reform (IESR), an NGO that is part of the ICFP alliance, Fabby Tumiwa said in a press release on Thursday (06/07).

The Paris Agreement is an agreement within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) dealing with greenhouse gas emissions mitigation, adaptation and finance ratified by 153 countries — Indonesia being one of them — that will be implemented in 2020.

A representative from the Indonesian Forum for the Environment (Walhi) said G-20 countries are unlikely to achieve just and sustainable economic development if members do not change their neoliberal economic approach – a policy model of social and economic policies that put greater control of economic resources in the private sector instead of the public sector under a capitalistic, free-market system.

Walhi spokeswoman Khalisah Khalid said one of the great challenges in the world right now is social inequality, and relinquishing control of resources to a handful of corporations tend to create more conflicts than peace in many parts of the world.

"Economic imbalances are becoming more visible and global crises continue to occur, such as the climate crisis and food crisis, due to monopoly or corporate domination in the global food system and world agricultural production system. International trade agreements that favor corporate interests and limit the role of the state results in injustice and more crises," Khalisah said in Jakarta.

The G-20 summit in Hamburg on July 8-9 among others intends to create a favorable global economic environment for developing countries as they pursue sustainable development agendas.

In this context, G-20 countries will also look forward to successful outcomes from the UN Sustainable Development Summit in New York in September which will push for the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

But the United States’ withdrawal from the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change mitigation on June 1 was a big blow for environmentalists.

The US decision had already attracted widespread condemnation from many countries and environmental organizations.

Nevertheless, US President Donald Trump so far seems to be sticking to his presidential campaign promise that he would help American businesses and workers, especially those in the fossil fuel industry, first, instead of kowtowing to the Paris Agreement.

To lessen the effect of the United States’ withdrawal from the Paris Agreement, ICFP is now urging governments to strengthen their commitment to implement climate protection policies during the G-20 summit.

ICFP comprises nine Indonesia-based NGOs: Indonesia for Global Justice (IGJ), International NGO Forum on Indonesian Development (Infid), Migrant CARE, Prakarsa Association, Publish What You Pay (PWYP) Indonesia, Transparency International Indonesia, Transformation for Justice (TuK) Indonesia and the aforementioned IESR and Walhi.

Several of these organizations had represented Indonesia in the Civil 20 (C-20) summit in Hamburg on June 18-19.