The year is beginning with many good news. After the huge wind energy plan in the UK, another good sign that climate change mitigation slowly but surely surfaces as a key preoccupation at a global scale.
Indeed the Brazilian goverment signed a National Policy on Climate Change bill which is due to help the country cut its emissions by 39 percent by 2020 from a business as usual scenario. (cf. my previous post on that topic)
On the other side of the Planet, Indonesia is also willing to act on deforestation and start reforesting. Both countries need the help of developed nations to reach their ambitious objectives.
As TreeHugger noted on Brazil :
Strengthening the pledges made on the heals of COP15 earlier this month, Brazilian President Lula signed a bill into law on Tuesday that require his nation’s greenhouse gas emissions to be reduced 39 percent by 2020–called the National Policy on Climate Change.
Despite the bold action made by Brazil to cut emissions though, which is among the most ambitious, three important provisions in the bill were vetoed, much to the chagrin of some environmental groups. But unlike the disparaging results of COP15, Brazil’s new law offers an example for other nations to follow.
(…) Despite the vetoes, the signing of the National Policy on Climate Change bill, which Brazil has imposed upon itself voluntarily, is still a historic achievement.
On Indonesia, Mongabay brings a lot of data :
Indonesia will rehabilitate degraded forests and plant millions of hectares of new forests to meet its target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions 26 percent from projected levels by 2020, reports Reuters.
Presenting in Jakarta, Forestry Minister Zulkifli Hasan said that 500,000 hectares of new forest would be planted each year from now until 2020, at a cost of 2.5 trillion rupiah ($269 million) per year. Indonesia would also rehabilitate 300,000 hectares of degraded forest every year using funds from international donors.
In all Hasan said that Indonesia could expand its forest cover by up to 21 million hectares by 2020, although it wasn’t immediately clear the extent to which new forest would consist of plantations.
“If the scenario described proceeds, if the planting proceeds, we can reach more than 26 percent (in emissions cuts),” Hasan was quoted as saying by Reuters. “If we can also eradicate illegal logging, then the 26 percent will be achieved entirely in the forestry and peat sector.
However reaching these targets will be a challenge. By some estimates illegal logging may account for up to half of logging in Indonesia. Meanwhile palm oil producers are eagerly eying peatlands for new plantations.
Last year President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono opened up some 2 million hectares of peatlands for development. A report released last year by the Indonesian government revealed that degradation and destruction of peatlands (45 percent) and forests (35 percent) account for 80 percent of Indonesia’s 2.3 billion tons of CO2 emissions per year.
There are not emissions cuts per say, but divergences from business as usual scenarios. This is not absolutely fantastic but it shows that local governments not only acknowledge there is a problem but also that they are ready to try and solve it as long as they receive help from wealthier nations.
I wish their call for help won’t be left unheard…