Monday, 26 January 2009

RI told to use own budget for climate

Thursday, January 29, 2009

RI told to use own budget for climate

Adianto P. Simamora , The Jakarta Post , Jakarta | Wed, 01/28/2009 3:23 PM | National

Indonesia should review its strategies for financing programs to combat climate change and stop relying on foreign aid, with developed nations cutting their funding for global warming initiatives, experts warned Tuesday.

Mahendra Siregar from the Adaptation Fund Board at the United Nations Framework Climate Change Convention (UNFCCC) said Indonesia should now focus on mobilizing its own resources to address climate change, rather than depending heavily on foreign assistance.

"The idea that Indonesia will finance its climate change programs on foreign money generated from the signing of the Kyoto protocol is a fantasy. No amount of foreign funding would be enough to deal with Indonesia's climate problems," he told a discussion on climate change financing schemes.

The National Council for Climate Change is drafting financial strategies for the country's various environmental programs, with a heavy dependency on income streams from overseas markets.

Agus P. Sari, currently Indonesia's national director for carbon trading broker Eco Securities, has been named as the leading analyst who will spend 8 months with the council formulating a National Economic, Environmental and Development Study (NEEDS). Mahendra said the funding promised by developed nations under the Kyoto protocol was insufficient to finance the climate-change projects in Indonesia.

"To make matters worse, the price of carbon is currently declining sharply, from 23 euros per ton of carbon dioxide (CO2) to only 14 euros per ton," he said.

Mahendra, also the deputy for international economic cooperation at the Coordinating Ministry for the Economy, said the drop in carbon prices was linked with declining global oil prices and a consumer shift to eco-friendly fuels, including gas.

"More companies in developed nations have also cut their operational costs, causing an increase in demand for certificates of emission reduction (CER)," he said. One CER is awarded for every ton of emissions reduced.

Mahendra said the Adaption Fund Board, set up during the Bali climate change conference, would only raise around US$150 million this year, while Indonesia's budget requirement for the year is Rp 1.8 trillion.

The $150 million in funding would be distributed to developing nations, including Indonesia, which require assistance in combating climate change.

Ismid Hadad, who chairs the council's financing work group said the government budget for climate change was limited. "We should seek alternative sources of funding, including from (carbon) markets and the public," he said.