Indonesia Will Take Action, Businesses Should Not Wait For Climate Treaty: SBY

Source : Eco Business
April 28, 2011
By Jessica Cheam

Governments alone do not have all the solutions, he said. “To secure our climate future we will need a grand scheme that will involve government policies, national cooperation, market incentives, technology innovation, and civil society participation.”

“As captains of industry, you can make significant contributions, You don’t have to wait for the multilateral system to produce a climate treaty. You can start to act now to make a difference,” he told a 700-strong gathering of business leaders on the opening day of the Business for the Environment summit held in Jakarta this week.

Under the United Nations framework on climate change, governments have been negotiating for the past decade on a global deal that will curb greenhouse gas emissions and arrest climate change, but a legally binding treaty has proven difficult to achieve.

Yudhoyono emphasised that Indonesia will do its part as “ultimately, our national and global interests are intertwined.” Indonesia is poised for higher growth, he noted, but it will adopt a green economic mantra that is pro-growth, pro-job, pro-environment and pro-business, he said.

The country is mindful of the need for growth with equity, so that the economic growth is inclusive and does not leave the poor behind, he said. Indonesia is committed to strengthening climate cooperation between countries. On its part, it has pledged to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions below business as usual levels by 26 per cent by 2020, while achieving 7 per cent economic growth.

Indonesia has established several funding initiatives for low-carbon development, such as its climate change trust fund, he said. The fund aims to introduce climate programmes into the heart of government policy.

At the event, held at the Shangri-la hotel, the president also said that his government will grant businesses access to degraded land, while keeping its biodiversity-rich forests intact, so as to transform these unproductive grasslands into “high-yielding and productive assets.”

New policies and incentives will “also be on the table” for companies that are serious about investing in the country, he said.

The big question now is whether countries can come up with these “transformative solutions,” he said, adding he believed that developed countries must take the lead, although developing countries “must also do more.”

“Finding the precise balance and right division of labour between developed and developing countries has not been easy. But without it there can be no climate stability for our planet,” he said.

Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Helen Clark, who also gave a keynote speech at the conference, touched on the importance of “inclusive development” for future growth which had resonance with Yudhoyono’s remarks.

“At the UNDP, we stand in solidarity with the world’s one billion people who live in extreme poverty, who rely on the natural environment for their livelihood. Preserving ecosystems is important to the survival of these communities, and for us all,” she said.

Governments must “turn old development models on their head,” she stressed. “Gone are the days when clearing forest for other land uses can be regarded as development.”

She noted the progress made on the REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) scheme, which addresses deforestation by creating financial incentives for land owners to preserve their forests. This scheme, which was officially recognised under the Cancun agreements that emerged from the UN climate talks in Cancun, Mexico, late last year, has been successful in arresting deforestation in Brazil, she said.

Indonesia is also an advocate and leader of the REDD scheme, and is working with countries such as Norway and Australia on a growing number of partnerships to preserve its forests.

Also speaking at the conference, Indonesia’s Investment Coordinating Board chairman, Gita Wirjawan, acknowledged that the private and public sector have to work together to make that transition into a low-carbon economy.

The private sector has to provide climate change solutions and technological innovation while the public sector can “accelerate this by providing an enabling environment that will make it financially feasible, through a system of incentives and disincentives,” he said.

“We at the Investment Board stand ready to facilitate such companies who’ve taken the view to be part of climate change solution,” he said.

Yudhoyono concluded the afternoon keynote sessions by reminding business leaders that addressing the climate “need not be a zero sum game.”

“The poor and local communities must benefit from our efforts to save our planet. In doing so, the government cannot do it alone… as all of us move on to low-carbon development, we will need greater participation of business and society leaders to build a robust green economy together,” he said.’s coverage of the B4E Global Summit 2011 is brought to you by City Developments Ltd (CDL).

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