Indonesia lacks credibility in climate plan -analysts

Published 06:00 on October 21, 2015  /  Last updated at 06:00 on October 21, 2015  /  Asia Pacific, Climate Talks, International, Other APAC  /  No Comments

Indonesia’s INDC lacks both credibility and transparency and is an inadequate contribution to the world’s effort to keep global warming below 2C, analysts Climate Action Tracker said Wednesday.

Indonesia’s INDC lacks both credibility and transparency and is an inadequate contribution to the world’s effort to keep global warming below 2C, analysts Climate Action Tracker said Wednesday.

The South East Asian nation, whose rapid deforestation rate and annual forest and peatland fires make it one of the world’s biggest greenhouse gas emitters, last month pledged to keep its 2030 emissions 29% below business-as-usual levels – a target that could be increased to 41% with international support.

The target equals a 440% increase in emissions between 1990 and 2030, and Indonesia’s INDC included plans to bring online 20 gigawatts of coal-fired electricity generation capacity by 2020, a move Bill Hare of Climate Analytics called “the antithesis to the kind of decarbonised world we need to hold warming below 2 degrees”.

Most of Indonesia’s emissions come from forestry-related activities, and Climate Action Tracker said one of the problems with the INDC was that it did not separate deforestation from other types of activities, such as power generation.

“Separate targets for energy-related emissions and forestry emissions would be much clearer. Mixing both means blurring one with the other,” said Niklas Hohne of NewClimate Institute, one of the organisations making up CAT.

He added that Indonesia’s estimates for future deforestation lacked credibility. The INDC’s BAU levels appeared to estimate that deforestation would remain at current levels until 2030, while CAT estimated that emissions from deforestation and other LULUCF activities could double between now and 2030.

“Something is wrong here. We do not understand how the Indonesian Government arrives at its recent emission trends, as forest clearance and peatland destruction appears to be continuing unabated, even under a so-called prohibition on these activities,” said Hohne.

Indonesia has been ravaged by some 100,000 forest and peatland fires this year that experts estimate have released around 1 billion tonnes of CO2e into the atmosphere.

The fires, many of them illegal, happen every year, mostly as a result of clearing land for the palm oil and paper industries, but the government seems unable to stop the trend. Currently, 2015 is on track to be the worst year since 2006.

The 1 billion tonnes released from fires this year is more than Indonesia’s own estimate for 2015, and underpins the lack of credibility in the estimates put forward in the INDC, according to CAT.

“Indonesia is extremely vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, and, as the world’s ninth largest emitter, has a responsibility to its own people, and the world, to at least be transparent about its emissions,” said Ecofys’ Kornelis Blok, another CAT partner.

By Stian Reklev – stian@carbon-pulse.com

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