Indonesia — As a country that has already experienced the effects of climatechange,Indonesia will hold an international conference on the problemthisDecember, it was announced Monday.
Addressing a joint media conference with United Nations Framework Convention onClimate Change executive secretary Yvo de Boer, State Minister for theEnvironment Rachmat Witoelar said Indonesia was ready to lead the charge onclimate change issues. Sprawled across the Equator, Indonesia’s islands are threatened rising sea levels, while its farmers arecurrently suffering through a prolonged dry season.
Rachmat said both indicated that the threat of global warming was in need ofimmediate international action. The conference, which will be held in Bali, willhave around 10,000 participants, including environment ministers, from the more100 countries who are signatories to the Kyoto Protocol.
It will be the first in a series of negotiations on clean development schemes,to be concluded with a new set of environmental agreements by 2010. Theparliaments of member countries are expected to ratify the agreements by 2012,when the first commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol expires. Under the 1997Kyoto Protocol, developed nations must cut greenhouse gas emissions by 8 percenton their 1990 levels between 2008 and 2012.
The conference will discuss financial incentives for both developed anddeveloping countries; efforts to seek the participation of major carbon culpritslike the United States; and a higher target for emission reductions. The meeting is also expected to address forestry sector issues,which are not sufficiently covered under the current “clean development”scheme.
Rachmat said Indonesia would propose at the meeting that an environmental fundbe set up to support countries that preserved their rain forests. “If it isagreed to, we will prioritize the forests threatened by fires in Bengkulu, Papuaand the Leuser conservation area,” he said.
De Boer said she hoped that different interests could be accommodated at themeeting. “It will not be easy to reach a consensus between industrializedand developing countries. But we have to start somewhere,” she said.
At a 12-day conference on climate change in Nairobi last year, China and India,the world’s largest developing countries, refused to be bound by emissionreduction regulations. They regard emission reduction as an economic burdenbecause of the cost of converting to more efficient, low-carbon energy forms.
Despite several verbal commitments to clean fuel development, the United Statesis yet to ratify the Kyoto Protocol, saying it would be too costly for itseconomy. The Nairobi convention was only able to agree to review emissionreduction targets by 2008.
Indonesia would see to it that any agreements made on clean developmentmechanisms were in line with poverty reduction efforts, Rachmat said.