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Indonesia orders Bali lobbying-frenzy to reverse first-round Kyoto agreement that does not include tradeable emissions from forest land

Posted by gmarkets on 20 September, 2007

The APEC summit will help set the stage for the UN climate change conference in Bali in December by putting the Kyoto protocol to one side “and just talking about the Earth”, according to Indonesia’s Environment Minister, reported The Australian (4/9/2007, p.7). APEC concentrates focus for Bali: “I’m happy to note that the APEC meeting will zero in on issues to be produced in Bali — and even if there are not concrete agreements out of APEC, this will at least give a flying start to Bali,” said veteran Jakarta politician Rachmat Witoelar, who, as in-coming president of the UN Framework on Climate Change, will play a leading role in the Bali conference. “It doesn’t have to influence Bali — APEC is APEC, right? But the APEC countries in Sydney are the ones who are going to help decide the outcome in Bali.”

Networking frenzy order: Witoelar will be in Sydney for the leaders’ summit later this week. He has directed senior staff to network ferociously during the short time they have available to tap into environmental knowledge available across the 21 member economies.

Indonesia seeks peat deposit reserve inclusion: In practical terms, one of the agreements Indonesia hopes to come to is the inclusion of its vast peat deposit reserves in the global carbon credits scheme. Under the Kyoto agreements, developing countries can sell their efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions across a range of activities, including manufacturing and waste treatment. However, the first-round Kyoto agreement, which holds until 2012, does not include tradeable emissions from forest land, a situation Jakarta was lobbying hard to reverse.

Indonesian forest burnoffs “for biofuel”: Indonesian forest land is regularly burned off to make way for palm oil plantations — a process that, paradoxically, Jakarta describes as being part of its attempts to create a viable biofuel industry. This is despite the fact that the energy used in creating palm oil diesel is far higher than that potentially gained — and the loss of rainforests is permanent. But Witoelar said Jakarta had “zero tolerance” for the illegal burning of forest land.

The Australian, 4/9/2007, p. 7

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