ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
‘Companies must set aggressive targets to reduce pollution’
CARBON credit schemes will help the transition to renewable energy, though it must be coupled with aggressive targets by countries and companies in order to meet international targets of keeping global warming to less than two degrees.
In an interview with The Brunei Times, CEO of PT Rimba Makmur Utama Dharsono Hartono said that carbon credit programmes can work in its goals to protect the environment and benefit communities living around them.
PT Rimba Makmur Utama is an Indonesian company that holds a concession for the purpose of conservation in Kalimantan. Called the Katingan Peatland Restoration and Conservation Project, the site covers about 149,800 hectares of natural peatland forest ecosystem within a wider mixed-used landscape of 305,699 hectares.
The core project area is located entirely within state-designated production forests. Without the project the area would be converted to fast-growing industrial timber plantations.
The Katingan Project prevents this through an Ecosystem Restoration Concession license, giving them full legal control of the area and blocking licence applications of plantation companies.
The project is financed by achieving emission reduction targets which are set over a period of 60 years, starting from 2010.
Hartono said that the moral issue of exchanging carbon credits for pollution elsewhere “has been debated for a long time.”
“However, while we are debating that issue, all of these rainforest areas are being cut.
“That is the reality. There has to be some kind of financing mechanism for people in rainforest countries like in the Asia-Pacific who can protect the forest to get benefit,” he said, adding that all the forests would disappear if the debate isn’t resolved.
Dharsono also said that such carbon offsets is not indefinite.
While carbon credit programmes help, he said, the key was that countries and companies must also make sure they have set aggressive targets for reducing pollution.
“Protecting these forests is a bridge for our target for less than two degrees (global warming).
“We are so deep into fossil fuels right now, there has to be a phase of changing to renewable energy because we cannot ‘turn the switch off’ quickly,” he added.
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Indonesia to launch 13th economic package this month
Coordinating Economic Minister Darmin Nasution said on Wednesday that the government would release its 13th economic policy package in August, adding that the draft had been completed.
Darmin said the 13th package was largely an extension of the previous one, but would expand its focus beyond industry. The 12th package focused on small and medium enterprises.
"We are just waiting to schedule a meeting with the president," Darmin told reporters at his office. He refused to give the exact date the new policy package would come into effect.
The ministry team must meet with President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo one more time to finalize the details, Darmin said.