Adianto P. Simamora 02/08/2010Indonesia will focus on bilateral deals to limit carbon emissions in negotiations that start Monday in Bonn, Germany, in advance of the UN climate conference in November, an official said on Sunday.
Indonesian chief negotiator Rachmat Witoelar said that talks on legally binding treaties conducted in the last two prepatory rounds had been sluggish. “There has been progress, but it is still slow. We cannot expect rich nations to agree to binding treaties,” Rachmat told The Jakarta Post. He said that rich nations remained reluctant to put emission reductions on the table.
Rachmat will lead the Indonesian team as President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s special envoy on climate change affairs. Indonesia will be represented by 26 negotiators at the Bonn meeting, which will be held Aug. 2-6. Indonesia will prioritize its national interests through bilateral talks, he said. “Of course, we will push for a global deal for the sake of the planet, but we can’t wait any longer. We will seek bilateral cooperation to implement climate programs,” he added. Indonesia has signed bilateral agreements with Australia, Norway and Japan to develop forestry projects to cut emissions.
Most of the agreements were reached on the sidelines of international climate change talks.
Indonesia has signed a US$1 billion deal with Norway — its biggest dollar-value climate cooperation agreement to date — to stop Indonesian forest loss and prevent carbon entering the atmosphere.
“We are still seeking similar climate deals. The United States, for example, could also make a similar deal with Indonesia,” he said. The Bonn meeting will discuss emission targets, financing, technology transfer, mitigation and adaptation issues. “There’s better progress in the talks on REDD,” he said.
The UN’s reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD) program is an alternative emissions reduction scheme. Forests contribute 20 percent of carbon emissions globally. The Bonn conference will lay groundwork for the next annual UN climate summit, which will take place in Cancun, Mexico, from Nov. 29-Dec. 2010 that will discuss a new binding treaty to replace the Kyoto Protocol, which expires in 2012.
Civil Society Forum’s climate change coordinator Giorgio Indarto said he was pessimistic about the Bonn meeting. “After the failure of the Copenhagen talks, negotiations are a joke. There is no urgency in forcing countries to take ambitious steps to tackle climate change,” he said. The Indonesian government has taken no significant domestic actions to combat climate change, he added.
The WWF global climate initiative said that governments should focus on key elements to reach a binding climate deal in next year summit.
“Cancun won’t work if the world expects an all-or-nothing agreement, but it can be a solid stepping stone towards legal framework for climate action in climate summit next year,” WWF Global
Climate Initiative chief Gordon Shepherd said in a statement made available to the Post.
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