Indonesia’s carbon emissions increased in tandem with the country’s economic growth over the last four years, but are lower than the global average, says a government report. The Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) report said that Indonesia’s carbon emissions were measured at 382 parts per million (ppm) in 2009, up from 372 ppm in 2004. The average global level of carbon emissions in 2009 was 387 ppm.
“The report measured emissions. It did not supply the figure used to dub Indonesia the planet’s third largest [carbon] emitter,” Edvin Aldrian, BKMG’s climate change and air quality unit head, told The Jakarta Post. Large forest fires and peatland forest conversions have made Indonesia the world’s third largest carbon emitter, after the US and China, say independent reports. Edvin said that the study included emissions from forest fires.
The BMKG established a global atmosphere watch (GAW) station in Bukitkotobang, West Sumatra — one of only 27 stations globally — to measure Indonesia’s emissions of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide and sulfur hexafluoride. The concentration of methane measured in Indonesia was 1,825 parts per billion (ppb) in 2009, up from 1,810 ppb in 2004, according to the report. Methane, a greenhouse gas 21 times more harmful than carbon dioxide, is typically released by untreated garbage. Indonesia, led by West Java, produced 61.68 million kilograms of waste-related methane emissions in 2008, according the Environment Ministry.
Households were the country’s largest source of energy-related carbon emissions. Java’s households alone produced more than 100 of the country’s 175 million tons of emissions that year. The industrial sector released 154 million tons of emissions in 2007 — up from 119 million tons in 2000 — due to a massive shift to fossil fuel use.
Indonesia has budgeted Rp 83 trillion (US$9.21 billion) to cut emissions by 26 percent by 2020 and vowed to reduce emissions 41 percent if rich nations provided financial assistance. The emissions increase shows that the government has done nothing after it hosted the UN Climate Change Conference in Bali in 2007, an environmental activist said.
“The increase puts Indonesia in a difficult position during climate negotiations,” said Teguh Surya, an Indonesian Environmental Forum (Walhi) climate campaigner. The government can not only say it will cut emissions. It must develop concrete programs that will be supported by the Indonesian people, Teguh said. “Otherwise, Indonesia will be called a liar on climate issues.”
Source: The Jakarta Post – June 22, 2010
By Adianto P. Simamora