Representatives from 196 states have convened at COP24, the United Nations Climate meeting that took place in Katowice, Poland in an effort to begin implementing the 2015 Paris Agreement that guides mitigation action towards a long-term temperature goal to limit temperature rise to well below 2°C and to pursue efforts to limit it to 1.5°C. Negotiations at COP24 aim to finalise guidelines for how to implement the Paris Agreement in what is termed the “Paris Rulebook,” which will come into force in 2020, and which provides key information for countries, including how to ensure transparent Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emission reporting.
RAFT partner, The Nature Conservancy (TNC), joined the global conversation and more than 20,000 people attending the event. On 13 December, we hosted a session on the importance of natural production forests in climate change mitigation, moderated by William McGoldrick, Director of Climate Strategy for TNC. Indonesia has set a target of reducing GHG emissions by 29% by 2030. Forestry and peat land are expected to contribute 60% of this emission reduction target.
Over 70 participants attended the event at the Indonesia Pavilion and learned about Indonesia’s Green Growth strategies and targets, particularly in East Kalimantan province, where the Government has recognised that the country’s growth cannot be sustained by continuing to rely on intensive, short-sighted exploitation of natural resources.
We want to keep the natural forests in East Kalimantan forested as we understand their important roles in climate change mitigation. The total natural forests and peatlands in East Kalimantan could contribute to emission reduction of 9 million tons CO2/year (1.1% of NDC or 2% of the forestry sector), if they are avoided from deforestation and degradation, or sustainably managed, said Professor Daddy Ruhiyat, Chairman of the East Kalimantan Climate Change Council.
When introducing lessons learned from 10 years working with RAFT, Dr. Herlina Hartanto, Terrestrial Program Director for TNC Indonesia also made it clear how innovation and multi-sector partnerships are key in helping Indonesia implement various emissions reduction strategies and achieve its ambitions. The session was a true reflection of RAFT’s multi-stakeholder approach.
Representatives from the East Kalimantan Climate Change Council, PT Karya Lestari Logging Concession, and a forest guardian from Wehea indigenous community showcased ways in which they are working together towards achieving a shared common goal. The event was closed by Matthew Stuchbery, Assistant Director of Carbon Markets and Bilateral Engagement, from the Department of the Environment and Energy of the Australian Government.
As an outcome of the COP24 event, most people want to see a strong rulebook and commitment by countries to raise their ambitions and carbon cutting promises before 2020.
“The roadmap negotiated by delegates over the past two weeks represents modest progress at a time when we should be seeing urgent action. Climate change is no longer a distant threat and it’s time for all countries to act. The Nature Conservancy strongly urges countries to remember the spirit of Paris that led to decisive momentum for climate action and return to that focus on ambitious, innovative climate solutions,” stated John Verdieck, Director of International Climate Policy for The Nature Conservancy, in a Statement released following the conclusion of COP24.
In his speech delivered at the Indonesia Pavilion, former Vice President and Nobel Peace Prize winner Al Gore echoed Verdieck’s words. “Political will is a renewable resource,” he affirmed. If we want to win the conversation on climate change, we must use our voice, use our vote and use our choices towards more climate-friendly solutions.