ASIATODAY.ID, JAKARTA – A number of Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) consisting of WALHI, MADANI Foundation, PIKUL Foundation and KEMITRAAN criticized the results of the 28th Climate Change Conference (COP) in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE) which ended on December 13 2023.
This is because the conference failed to produce a firm mandate to end fossil fuels.
They also urged the Indonesian government to promote domestic climate commitments and speak out louder in urging developed countries to fulfill their obligations.
According to them, future climate negotiations must be led by developing countries, poor countries and countries most affected by the climate crisis. COP-28 Dubai was an important moment where countries received a “bad report card” in their collective achievements in overcoming the climate crisis that threatens the fate of future generations.
COP28 decisions also appear contradictory and unbalanced; self-proclaimed must be in tune with science, but without setting sufficiently ambitious targets.
The results of the global stocktake (GST) assessment found that implementing policies in the climate commitments (NDC) of countries that have ratified the Paris Agreement will only reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 2% in 2030 compared to 2019 levels.
In fact, to ensure that the global rate of increase does not exceed the safe limit of 1.5C by the end of this century, global GHG emissions must fall by 50% by 2030 and reach net zero emissions by 2050.
“The world is very disappointed because COP 28 did not produce a firm mandate to phase out fossil fuels, namely coal, oil and natural gas. Even though there are calls to switch from fossil energy to reach net zero around 2050, there are many compromises such as the use of Carbon Capture, Utilization, and Storage (CCUS), transitional fuels whose limits are not clearly defined, even including nuclear as a solution,” said Uli Arta Siagian, WALHI National Forest and Garden Campaign Manager.
If we really refer to science, the world must reduce the use of coal by 95%, petroleum by 60% and natural gas by 45% by 2050. The slow pace of climate action means that society is increasingly squeezed in facing the various impacts of the climate crisis, such as extreme hot weather, floods, high waves, drought, widespread disease, and loss of housing, livelihoods and even cultural sites.
The most severe impacts are felt by vulnerable community groups such as people with disabilities, the elderly, children, women – including adolescent girls, indigenous and local communities, traditional farmers and fishermen, as well as workers.
Based on data from the National Disaster Management Agency (BNPB), over the last 10 years more than 90% of the disasters that occurred were climate-related disasters and claimed the lives of more than 32 million people.
Meanwhile, in the Global Goals on Adaptation agenda, COP 28 has only succeeded in formulating the scope of adaptation goals but without clear targets.
Also, although there is recognition of local knowledge in adapting and the leadership of indigenous communities in adapting, there is no mention of tenure protection as a prerequisite for adaptation based on local knowledge and traditions.
To ensure fair and sustainable climate solutions, all parties including local governments and vulnerable communities must be involved meaningfully. However, countries should not give up on resolving the climate crisis situation.
“The most basic question is who is the party that should adapt to today’s crisis situation? They are the government and corporations, because the policies, programs and political decisions they produce actually destroy the adaptive capacity of the people, and the mitigation actions they have been carrying out,” continued Uli Arta Siagian, WALHI National Forest and Garden Campaign Manager.
The planning and implementation of mitigation actions must also be integrated with adaptation actions so that they do not further weaken the ability of communities to defend themselves in facing the impacts of the climate crisis.
The reality that occurs is quite the opposite, such as cases of massive destruction in fulfilling electrification needs which threaten small islands in Eastern Indonesia as well as infrastructure development which actually creates quite high cases of mal-adaptation in Indonesia.
“Even though COP28 produced an important decision regarding the impact of the climate crisis which has already occurred and cannot be recovered, namely the operationalization of funding to overcome Loss and Damage. However, the process has not provided certainty for those who have experienced destruction and damage. This shows that the path to climate justice is still bleak,” said Torry Kuswardono, Executive Director of the PIKUL Foundation.
Returning from Dubai, countries have homework to do to strengthen their climate commitments to align with the 1.5C target.
“Indonesia’s claim of success in reducing emissions by 42% should make Indonesia bolder and more assertive in dealing with the climate crisis, including by increasing the ambition of the national contribution in the Second NDC according to the 1.5C target,” said Nadia Hadad, Executive Director of the Sustainable MADANI Foundation.
Abimanyu Sasongko Aji, Manager of the KEMITRAAN Climate Change Funding Program, added, “planning and implementation of climate action must be made more transparent, accountable, inclusive and participatory, especially towards vulnerable groups.
“So far, the inclusive and participatory aspects are often forgotten.”
As a country with the second largest tropical forest in the world, Indonesia has made the Forestry and Land Use (FOLU) sector the focus of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. On the other hand, Indonesia as an archipelagic country is very vulnerable to the impacts of the climate crisis, especially with the increasing rise in sea levels which can submerge small islands and risk losing their homes.
“The Indonesian delegation who has just returned from negotiations in Dubai must open their eyes to the reality on the ground. Natural forests continue to be lost, small islands are threatened, an unfair energy transition actually damages the environment and takes away people’s rights, destruction of coasts, waters, coral reefs and mangroves continues to occur so that the local community’s economy is lost,” concluded Torry Kuswardono , Executive Director of the PIKUL Foundation.
“Not only that, people who fight for the right to a clean and healthy environment are still intimidated and criminalized,” added Torry.
Civil society noted that during the 2001-2022 period there had been a loss of 6.5 million hectares of natural forest cover, including mangroves. An area of 176 thousand hectares of which was lost in the last three years (Mapbiomas, 2023). In addition, there will be at least 26 legal cases faced by environmental defenders in 2021, an increase of 10 cases compared to the previous year (Environmentaldefender, 2021).
Civil society demands that Indonesia have a priority agenda in handling the climate crisis.
First, retire coal more quickly, including captive coal power plants for downstream purposes.
Second, stop deforestation and restore and protect all remaining natural ecosystems by respecting and recognizing the rights of indigenous and local communities.
Third, prepare to face climate disasters which are becoming more frequent through effective and equitable adaptation, as well as avoiding maladaptation.
Fourth, channel climate funding that can be accessed directly by affected communities at the site level.
Fifth, the government must guarantee and protect the rights of every citizen to have a clean and healthy living environment, namely by stopping all forms of threats and intimidation against environmental and human rights defenders.
The results of the negotiations in Dubai strengthen evidence that developed countries have failed to show leadership in efforts to overcome the global climate crisis.
“Therefore, it is time for developing, poor and affected countries to seize leadership in climate negotiations and speak out louder demanding that developed countries fulfill their obligations in reducing GHG emissions, assisting developing countries in adapting, and overcoming the destruction and damage or Loss and Damage due to the climate crisis,” concluded Nadia. (AT Network)
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