Great Expectations for Bali Climate Meet

DENPASAR ~ The central government wants to see stronger commitments from Kyoto Protocol signatories to cut carbon emissions when the agreement expires in 2012, an Environment Ministry official said this week.

Indonesia is hosting the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change conference in Bali in December, when 191 member states will thrash out a fresh pact for when Kyoto expires.

Under the Kyoto agreement, signatories must reduce their 1990 emission levels by at least five percent by 2012.

“Post-2012, we hope there will be a more significant commitment than that in the Kyoto Protocol, whether it will be following Europe’s steps to reduce carbon emissions by 20, 30, 50 or even 100 percent by 2050, or letting each country set their own targets based on their own capacities,” senior Ministry of Environment official Agus Purnomo told a press briefing.

He did not specify what sort of targets Indonesia would be seeking to incorporate into the post-Kyoto agreement.

“As host, Indonesia has the obligation to listen and accommodate various opinions from other countries,” he said.

Indonesia is particularly vulnerable to the impact of climate change as global warming threatens to raise sea levels and flood coastal farming areas, a report released in June found.

It warned global warming could shorten the rainy season here and intensify rainfall, leading to a significant fall in rice yields and threatening food supplies.

Environment Minister Rachmat Witoelar warned in January that Indonesia could lose 2,000 small islands by 2030 if sea levels rise as a result of climate change.

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