Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Indonesia's Carbon Trading Pie Should Be Split Fairly: Expert

Despite numerous reports making clear that carbon offset (REDD) money will lead to mass corruption, doubtless the money will be given to officials and that will be the last we see of it. Total madness. The givers will be as corrupt as the receivers.

December 02, 2009

Made Arya Kencana The Jakarta Globe

Sanur, Bali. As nations prepare for the upcoming UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen this month, an expert here on Tuesday called for delegates to make sure developing countries get their fair share of the potential benefits of a new carbon trading scheme slated for discussion.

“There must be agreement among developing countries to explain the expected benefits clearly and based on precise calculations,” said James Mayers, head of the Institute for Environment and Development, during the Forest Governance Learning Group in Sanur, Bali.

Forestry experts from countries with vast woodlands were on hand at the four-day meeting, which kicked off on Tuesday. Nations including Indonesia, Cameroon, Ghana, Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda and Vietnam were represented.

Mayers, who is also coordinator of the FGLG, said forests would top the agenda during climate change negotiations in Copenhagen, potentially making billions of dollars available to compensate countries that preserve their existing forests.

He said better forest management would be critical for reaping the highest social and environmental benefits from the Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation scheme.

Mayers said the management of forests should be placed in the hands of those who would push for sustainable practices. “The most important thing is who would have authority over forests,” he said.

Bambang Sukmananto, the Ministry of Forestry’s director of the development of forest products management, who is representing Indonesia at the FGLG meeting, said the success of REDD negotiations would hinge on the position of the United States.

“Probably, with a commitment from President Obama, they will change their standpoint,” he said, likely referring to resistance to climate change agreements under former President George W. Bush.

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono promised during the Group of 20 meeting in the US city of Pittsburgh in September that Indonesia would reduce carbon emissions by 26 percent and up to 41 percent with possible international assistance.

Previously, Rachmat Witoelar, the former state minister for the environment who serves as the head of the National Council for Climate Change, said Indonesia had already earned 30 emissions reduction credits worth around 300,000 euros ($451,800) that have been approved by the United Nations’ climate change body.

Witoelar urged the government to delay selling off those credits to major carbon-emitting countries, because the value was expected to go up after the Copenhagen summit.