Jakarta. COP26 president Alok Sharma said Thursday that Indonesia has an opportunity to make history by pushing forward climate commitments when it presides over the G20 meetings this year.
“There is a historic opportunity for Indonesia, which is in this great leadership position, to push forward on the commitments that were made in Glasgow as part of the strand of discussions on climate, environment, and energy taking place at the G20,” Sharma said at a virtual discussion held by think-tank Foreign Policy Community of Indonesia (FPCI) on Thursday.
Sharma said he had delivered a similar message when meeting a number of Indonesian ministers in his Jakarta visit this week. Among the ministers that Sharma met was Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs Airlangga Hartarto.
“The ministers were incredibly receptive to that discussion. Indonesia could be the country that presides over a historic outcome, which is a ‘net-zero G20’. Eighteen of the 20 [G20 countries] have already committed to net-zero formally, just two left, so I think there is a real opportunity,” Sharma told the discussion.
According to Sharma, the G20 economies play a vital role in combating climate change, given that they account for 80 percent of the global emissions.
Sharma said he hopes to work with Indonesia's G20 presidency —together with UK's COP26 presidency— to get all countries to strengthen their 2030 emission reduction targets by the end of 2022.
"[As well as] ensuring that developed nations are stepping forward on the issues of finance,” Sharma said.
Every climate discussion is never without talks on financing for developing nations. Not to mention how the world is still grappling with the Covid-19 pandemic. At COP26, South Africa managed to secure an $8.5 billion commitment from the US, Britain, France, Germany, and the European Union, to transition away from coal.
“The quid pro quo has been that South Africa has stepped forward with ambitious plans to cut emissions, with plans to reform its energy sector. For any country —[like] Indonesia— that wants that support, the same thing will have to happen,” Sharma said.
“We are very open to having discussions with Indonesia, as developed nations coming together to support Indonesia as part of its energy transition. That, of course, is part of an ongoing discussion we will continue to have for the next few weeks or months,” he added.
At January’s World Economic Forum (WEF) discussion, Indonesia had expressed concerns over climate financing.
According to President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo, Indonesia would need $50 billion to switch to renewable energy. And a further $37 billion for the sectors of forestry, land use, as well as marine carbon.
Earlier this month, Jokowi also announced that Indonesia would try to achieve a global deal on energy transition out of its G20 presidency.
“I will ask for a global commitment or a global deal from every G20 leader to jointly agree on concrete steps in accelerating the energy transition,” Jokowi said, in a speech read by Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan.