Government’s Commitment on Global Warming Questioned

Government’s Commitment on Global Warming Questioned

28 April 2009

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— Bernardinus Steny, coordinator for the Development of Critical Legal Thinking Program, under the Association for Community and Ecology-Based Legal Reform (HuMA), is questioning the government’s commitment on reducing global warming. “Indonesia’s policies do not reduce it but instead adds to the amount of carbon emission,” Steny said in Jakarta yesterday.

The president, said Steny, at the Tokyo Summit for G-8 countries in 2008, issued an official letter concerning the government’s commitment to reduce the impacts of global warming. The letter stated that the government will reduce 50 percent of carbon emission by 2009, 75 percent of carbon emission by 2012, and 95 percent by 2025.

The problem is, Steny said, the president’s commitment was not being followed by his ministers. Steny cited as example, Regulation No. 68/2009 on Carbon Emission Reduction from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) issued by the Forestry Minister.

Yet, later on the Agriculture Minister issued Regulation No. 14/2009 on Peat Land Utilization for Palm Oil Plantations Guideline. “That’s contradictory. One minister issues a regulation on forest conservation, another allows carbon emission,” he said.

Indonesian Center for Environmental Law forestry manager, Giorgio Budi Indarto, explained that clearing a peat area will release the carbon in them. As a result, more carbon will be emitted around Indonesia. “As such, it would be impossible for the president to fulfill his commitment,” he said.

Giorgio also said that even without issuing permits for peat moss land clearance, Indonesia must work hard to reduce carbon emission. “We must make all efforts, for instance by reducing production capacity or save big quantities of energy,” he said.

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