Indonesia has demanded a stronger commitment from developed countries to improve technology transfers, to enable the country to become a low carbon economy.
The high cost of technology has become the main obstacle for Indonesian businesses to achieve sustainability, as well as access cleaner energy from renewable resources.
Nur Masripatin, Indonesia’s delegate to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), said on Friday that governments of developed countries had refused to remove barriers because of patent issues concerning technology, as the rights usually belong to the private sector.
“Developing countries want the governments of developed countries to buy the patent rights so that the technology can be accessed at lower costs by developing countries,” she told journalists on the sidelines of the UN’s COP23 global climate summit.
In the largest global agreement to fight climate change, 197 countries pledged to reduce emissions in Paris two years ago, superseding the Kyoto Protocol that only obliged developed countries to cut emissions.
Since then, countries have struggled to agree to joint guidelines on how countries should be held responsible for their emissions reduction targets and how their achievements are reported and assessed.
As the United States announced its exit from the global pact, country delegates are endeavoring to produce guidelines for climate action plans that are set to be implemented in 2020. During the first week of annual conference, the classic debate between the developed and developing countries continued as the latter demanded a different set of reporting and accounting mechanisms regarding their emissions targets, also known as Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs).
Although a member of the G77 and China group, Nur said Indonesia is supporting a single set of guidelines to determine NDCs with reporting and accounting mechanisms that are applicable to all countries, so that achievements can be easily assessed and compared. Aiming to cut emissions by 29 percent by 2030 through its own efforts and 41 percent through international cooperation, Indonesia has pledged in its action plan to reduce energy supplies using coal to 30 percent of total energy supply by 2025 and 25 percent by 2050.
Nur, however, said Indonesia would not be able to set ambitious targets to cut emissions without help from developed countries.
The Environment and Forestry Ministry’s director general for climate change said there had been a case where UNFCCC’s Climate Technology Centre & Network (CTCN) assisted in a waste management project for the palm oil industry in Lampung. However, the technology was not applied as it was too costly.
“The funding was only for the early stage of the technology transfer, so we did not use it,” said Nur.
Indonesia has been pursuing efforts to reach its emissions targets primarily through social forestry and peat restoration programs.
The ministry and Peatland Restoration Agency (BRG) have coordinated efforts among local people, the private sector and local government to reduce forest fires and restore peat forests that have been damaged by commercial activity.
Social forestry is a concept where the government grants rights to local communities and indigenous people to manage plots of land for 35 years, while restoring peatland focuses on recovering damaged peat forests to prevent fires. The scheme also allows the restored peatland to be managed under the social forestry program.
BRG head Nazir Foead said they had worked with farmers to eliminate slash-and-burn methods while cultivating the land.
“Peatland managed under the program will also help to achieve national food security,” he said.
Not all types of plants, however, are allowed to be cultivated.
Erna Rosidana, the Forestry Ministry’s director general for social forestry, said only selected plants were allowed, such as pineapples and sugar palm.