Posted by: Hendra Siry | 25 June, 2010

Indonesian Leader Touts ‘Global Safety Net’, Climate Fund

Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said Thursday he would push proposals for a “global safety net” to rescue the world economy from financial turmoil when he attends this weekend’s G20 summit. The leader of the world’s fourth-most populous country said he would also urge rich countries to contribute to a global climate change fund to help developing nations like Indonesia cope with a warming planet.

“Indonesia will talk about the need to implement a global financial safety net,” Yudhoyono told reporters as he left Indonesia bound for Toronto for Saturday’s meeting of major developed and developing economies. “Indonesia now thinks that a global financial safety net should be activated to serve as an effective instrument to protect any country from economic crisis.” South Korea, this year’s G20 co-chair with Canada, has also been pushing the safety net idea — which would create international lending vehicles backed by the IMF to help poorer countries facing a sudden credit crunch.

Indonesia has sailed through the downturn in the world economy and predicts growth of around seven percent by the end of Yudhoyono’s second and final term in 2014. It is currently coasting along at about five percent. Its stock market is one of the best-performing in Asia on the back of strong domestic demand from its 240 million people — 90 percent of whom are Muslims — and demand for its resources such as coal, palm oil and natural gas.

Rapid economic growth has put a major strain on Indonesia’s environment, and the Southeast Asian archipelago is the third-biggest emitter of greenhouse gases thanks mainly to deforestation. Yudhoyono has promised to slash emissions by more than 40 percent by 2020 with international assistance, and recently announced a moratorium on new forestry concessions in exchange for one billion dollars from Norway.

He acknowledged that some G20 countries were not yet as forthcoming with money to help developing countries adapt to and mitigate climate change. “Indonesia will also talk about the climate change issue (in Toronto), although I know that not all G20 members are comfortable about discussing it. Even so I consider that a climate change fund is necessary,” he said.

Source: AFP – June 24, 2010


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