Officials in the dark when it comes to green issues
29 March 2007
published by TheJakarta Post
Jakarta,Indonesia — At a discussion on environmental issues on Wednesday, Jakarta Environment Management Board head Budirama Natakusumah raised somebasic questions about the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM).
The CDM is an element of the Kyoto Protocol that allows developing countries to host projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
“What does the CDM look like?,” he asked. “What is the nature of its system?” “The CDM has long been promoted here but we don’t have good knowledge about its processes. Many non-governmental organizations have come tomy office to explain the concept, but how it works is still not clear,” he said.
Countries running CDM projects receive a certificate of emissions reduction that is based on the number of tons of carbon dioxideemissions that can be traded with rich nations that have mandatory targets to reduce emissions.
While Indonesia has ratified the Kyoto Protocol it has no mandatory target to reduce emissions.
Jakarta was the first province in the country to issue a decree on hosting CDM projects, but is yet to carry out any activities.
Wednesday’s discussion, organized by the State Ministry for the Environment, was attended by the heads of environmental agenciesacross the country.
Budirama and other participants urged the ministry to release information on climate change to improve public awareness of theissue.
State Minister for the Environment Rachmat Witoelar used the meeting to brief the attendees about the impacts of climate change.
“I don’t mean to scare you all, but if we do nothing to manage climate change, many of our areas, including Jimbaran in Bali orSoekarno Hatta International Airport in Banten and my office will permanently disappear,” he told the gathering.
Rachmat also spoke about reports on climate change issued by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and theStern Review on the Economics of Climate Change, written by Nicholas Stern.
“I admit it will be difficult for you to understand the two reports but we have to learn. Regional administrations need to know the macroand micro sides of climate change,”
“It (the climate change) is no longer just the changes of season patterns,” the minister said.
Rachmat said that President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono would also brief all governors about the issue.
“Although we are currently focused on resolving poverty and high unemployment problems, we are forced to think about climate changeand controlling carbon monoxide emissions,” he said.
He said that Indonesia was the third largest CO2 emitter in the world after the United States and China, mainly due to the peatland firesthat cause the annual haze.
Indonesia will host an international conference on climate change in December in Bali. Some 10,000 experts and participants from 190countries will attend the conference. “The international community has said that the Bali conference is crucial to save the world from the impacts of climatechange. They believe that Indonesia will bring peaceful vibrations to resolve theproblems. We thank them for that but we also need first to save our environment,” Rachmat told The Jakarta Post.
He said that the Bali conference was expected to set adaptation funds and the price of a ton of carbon emission reductions.
“Nicholas told me that the price of emission reductions could be between US$33 to $35 per ton to encourage developing nations to hostthe CDM. Thus, with this price, Indonesia could reap up to US$5 billion from the CDM project,” he said.
A ton of emissions reductions is currently worth between $7 and $10.