The government has expressed interest in applying for the UN’s climate change top post to replace Yvo de Boer, who will resign by July, just months before climate talks on emission-cut targets. Officials said the likely candidates were Liana Bratasida, an expert staff member on international environmental affairs at the Environment Ministry, and Agus Purnomo, a newly appointed special staff member on climate change to President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.
“We have the competence to fill the post,” Henry Bastaman, Environment Ministry communication and people’s empowerment deputy told The Jakarta Post on Sunday. “We have staff who have long been active in climate talks such as a CDM executive board member and head of the SBI.” He is referring to Liana, former member of the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), who was tasked to determine whether carbon projects were approved.
At the Bonn climate meeting last year, Liana was elected to chair the Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI) to discuss crucial issues including the emission-cut target, financing, mitigation and technology transfers. Senior official at the National Council on Climate Change (DNPI) told the Post that it would likely propose Agus to run for the post.
“*Agus* is one of few well-known officials from Indonesia who attends international climate talks,” the source who declined to be named, said. Agus, appointed special assistant on climate change to President Yudhoyono in February, is now DNPI secretary-general. He is also former head of the national committee organizing the 2007 climate talks in Bali.
The DNPI, set up in 2008 by Yudhoyono, is the country’s voice on climate change at international talks. Legislators earlier proposed Rachmat Witoelar, executive director of the DNPI, to run for the executive secretary position at the UN Framework on Climate Change. “I am already happy with my current position guarding Indonesia’s position on climate talks,” Rachmat told the Post.
Environmental ministers from more than 100 countries met in Nusa Dua, Bali, last week to discuss climate talks to break the expected deadlock in Mexico among other issues. A source said that Indonesian officials tried to lobby ministers from other countries on the sidelines of the Bali meeting last week to support Indonesia’s plan to run for the UN climate post.
“We have some bilateral talks with other countries such as India but discussions focus on how to strengthen cooperation on climate issues,” Henry added. India is the first nation stating its plan to run for Yvo de Boer’s post. Foreign Ministry spokesman Teuku Faizasyah also said Indonesia had interest in applying for the UN top post. “I heard about the plan to apply for the post. And if we have qualified candidates, we will fight for it,” he said. De Boer’s departure has happened just five months before negotiators from 190 countries that will meet again in Mexico to attempt to form a treaty to replace the 1997 Kyoto Protocol.
Source: The Jakarta Post – March 1st, 2010
By Adianto P. Simamora