Indonesia Doubles Coal Use, Ratifies “Climate” Treaty
By Paul Homewood
Tony Heller noted this juxtaposition of news from Indonesia this month.
So perhaps it is time to recall just what it was that Indonesia agreed to in the Paris Agreement.
My full analysis of Indonesia’s INDC, which the Carbon Tracker website rated as “Inadequate” from last November is here. But the gist of it is this:
The BAU case projects emissions of 2881 GtCO2e by 2030:
Therefore, a cut of 29% leaves a target of 2046 GtCO2e, still well above 2005 emissions of 1800 GtCO2e.
But this is not the whole story.
As the above makes clear, land use change accounts for 63% of all emissions, totally dwarfing the burning of fossil fuels. This figure reflects the enormous amount of forest that has been cut down, often to make room for palm oil and pulp wood plantations. On top of that, annual dry-season fires that are illegally started to clear land for plantations also release vast amounts of greenhouse gases, particularly when they burn peatlands that store large amounts of carbon.
At best, Indonesia’s INDC implies that such forest clearances will be racked back, and there is certainly no commitment to restore tropical forest lost. There is absolutely no commitment at all to reduce emissions from the burning of fossil fuels.
But even this appears to be an optimistic and naive assumption, as Carbon Tracker report:
Major issues with deforestation data and emissions
While the Indonesian Government’s data shows relatively stable deforestation emissions for the last decade, independent scientific sources indicate a strong increase in deforestation over the same time period. This has happened despite the fact that Indonesia has, temporarily, (2010–2016), prohibited the clearing of primary forest and the conversion of peat lands.
While the Government BAU projections for the future show emissions from deforestation as constant – or slightly decreasing over time – this does not appear to reflect the reality on the ground at present, which points towards increasing deforestation. We find that extrapolating the trend of forest cover loss from one recent study which shows a 20% increase in deforestation annually between 2001 and 2012, results in projected emission levels of above 1.7 GtCO2/year from LULUCF by 2030, roughly twice as high as all emissions in the sector under the Indonesian Government’s BAU. A draft version of Indonesia’s INDC indicated plans to protect 12.7 million hectares of forest areas by designating it to social forestry, ecosystem restoration, conservation and sustainable use (Government of Indonesia 2015). The final INDC no longer mentions these plans.
So Indonesia’s INDC is based upon worthless promises to reduce deforestation, while the consumption of coal, oil and gas is allowed to climb rapidly.
Little wonder then that coal consumption there has doubled since 2010, and tripled since 2005.