Indonesian climate change policies: striking a balance between poverty alleviation and emissions reduction

Climate change mitigation Greenhouse gas mitigation Global environmental change Emission reduction Indonesia

Indonesia is an overlooked contributor of global greenhouse gas emissions. Land use changes, peat fires and deforestation are the largest sources of greenhouse gases in the country. Over the next decade, however, its energy policies could see the main source of emissions shift to the energy sector. Since 2009, the Indonesian Government has made a number of pledges to reduce its emissions and contribute to global efforts that aim to ensure that temperatures do not rise by more than two degrees Celsius. Its desire to reduce poverty and maintain a relatively high rate of economic development, however, could undermine those pledges.

Key points:

  • Indonesia is one of the largest emitters of greenhouse gases, most of those emissions being caused by land use change and peat and forest fires.
  • More than ten per cent of the Indonesian population lives in poverty; the government has promised to reduce that to four per cent by 2025. Strong climate policies could impede that effort.
  • As part of its commitment to the Paris Climate Agreement, Indonesia aims to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 29 per cent from the business-as-usual baseline by 2030. If it receives international assistance, it aims to reduce its emissions by 41 per cent.
  • While Indonesia has had some success in reducing deforestation, protecting peatlands and limiting fires, its biofuel and energy policies suggest that it will struggle to meet its 2030 emissions reduction targets.
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