Yet another major emitter in the developing world pledges to dramatically change their emissions trajectory.
Environmentalists on Tuesday welcomed Indonesia’s pledge to substantially cut the growth of its greenhouse gas emissions, saying the promise could help talks on crafting a broader global pact to fight climate change.
Indonesia is the world’s third largest greenhouse emitter and steps by big developing nations to curb their emissions of planet-warming greenhouse gases are a key focus of U.N.-led climate talks under way in the Thai capital until Oct 9.
Delegates from about 180 countries are trying to narrow differences on emissions reduction targets, climate finance and transfer of clean-energy technology before a December deadline to try to seal a tougher pact to replace the Kyoto Protocol.
In a speech to G20 leaders on Sept. 25, Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said the government was crafting a policy that would cut emissions by 26 percent by 2020 from “business as usual” (BAU) levels.
The policy would be a mix of stepping up investment in renewable energy, such as geothermal power, and curbing emissions from deforestation and changes in land use.
With international support, he said he was confident Indonesia could cut emissions by as much as 41 percent.
“This target is entirely achievable because most of our emissions come from forest-related issues, such as forest fires and deforestation,” he said during a working lunch in the U.S city of Pittsburgh. Reuters obtained a copy of his speech on Tuesday.
“We are also looking into the distinct possibility to commit a billion ton of CO2 reduction by 2050 from BAU. We will change the status of our forest from that of a net emitter sector to a net sink sector by 2030.”
Yes, this commitment is against business as usual growth, but that is the top priority for developing countries, and these cuts are still a big deal from the third biggest emitter in the world.
China’s fast-growing electric car producers could take the lead in the global industry if the United States fails to invest heavily in the technology, a U.S. energy official said Wednesday.
Electric vehicles are a priority in U.S. energy policy but China is also investing aggressively in development, said David Sandalow, an assistant energy secretary. He spoke after attending a U.S.-Chinese forum on electric vehicles, which he said was attended by 80 Chinese and 60 American companies.
“They have the potential to be ahead if the United States does not invest heavily in this technology and in this industry. The Chinese are well positioned to be global leaders in the electric vehicle industry,” Sandalow told reporters.
Climate change will be among the top issues when President Obama visits China in November, a U.S. official said Wednesday.
China and the U.S., the world’s biggest and second biggest emitters of greenhouse gases respectively, have made energy cooperation a keystone of their relationship even though their differences could still derail an international climate change treaty in talks to be held this December in Copenhagen.
Still, the Obama administration is hoping the president’s trip here, just ahead of the Copenhagen talks, will result in some concrete steps on energy and technology cooperation.
Developing countries will need as much as $100 billion per year until 2050 to adapt to climate change, an amount that would nearly double current foreign aid flows from developed nations, the World Bank said.
Poorer nations need between $75 billion and $100 billion annually to “enjoy the same level of welfare in the future world as they would have without climate change,” the World Bank said in a report today released in Bangkok, where envoys met to discuss a global environmental accord. Rich countries gave a record $119.8 billion in aid last year, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.
“The World Bank study makes plain that taking action in favor of adaptation now can result in future savings and reduce unacceptable risks,” Bert Koenders, the Netherlands’ minister for Development Cooperation, said in a statement. “At this point, the costs this will entail can still be borne by the international community.”
A survey of investors with approximately US$7 trillion of assets under management has shown significant support for an expanded carbon market mechanism which would address the estimated 20 percent of global carbon emissions due to deforestation and forest degradation.
But the 2009 Forest Carbon Investor Survey, conducted by the Brunswick Group on behalf of the WWF Forest Carbon Initiative, found investors looking for initial public financing viable policy frameworks, and more certainty from both international agreements and national legislation, before private funds can be mobilized.
The investment community is looking to December’s UN Climate Conference in Copenhagen to add substance to REDD (Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation) as the over-arching policy framework for combating forest related emissions.
During last week’s G20 Summit in Pittsburgh, Rep. Mike Doyle (D-Penn.) was out and about networking with climate-action advocates and talking up the city’s green cred. A southwestern Pennsylvania native, Doyle comes from a steelworking family and has been a friend to the industry during his nine years in Congress. But he’s also an outspoken proponent of the greening of Pittsburgh, where environmental cleanup, green jobs growth, energy-efficient building, and cleantech R&D have transformed a dying steel town into a lively pioneer of 21st century urban revitalization.
Doyle, a senior member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, was an early critic of the Waxman-Markey climate and clean energy bill. But he eventually emerged as a major supporter of the legislation, brokering components that would benefit the industrial and manufacturing sectors and whipping up votes that helped the bill squeak to passage in June. With Rep. Jay Inslee (D-Wash.), Doyle crafted a compromise measure that in the bill’s first 10 to 15 years would give away a mass of greenhouse-gas pollution credits to heavy industries facing intense overseas competition (such as steel, natch), as well as to power distribution companies serving local electric utilities.