Indonesia rejects "world's third-largest emitter" tag

JAKARTA Mon Nov 23, 2009 10:23am EST

An aerial view of peatland areas bordered by rainforest (bottom) in Indonesia's Riau province, November 9, 2009. An Indonesia-based study is showing carbon-rich tropical peatlands trap more greenhouse gases than first thought, driving up their potential value on the carbon market and strengthening the case for their protection. Picture taken November 9, 2009. REUTERS/Beawiharta

An aerial view of peatland areas bordered by rainforest (bottom) in Indonesia's Riau province, November 9, 2009. An Indonesia-based study is showing carbon-rich tropical peatlands trap more greenhouse gases than first thought, driving up their potential value on the carbon market and strengthening the case for their protection. Picture taken November 9, 2009.

Credit: Reuters/Beawiharta

JAKARTA (Reuters) - A World Bank study that cited Indonesia as the world's third-largest emitter of greenhouse gases was wrong, an Indonesian report sent to the United Nations on Monday said, although it did not provide its own ranking.

Indonesia is seen as a key player in forthcoming international climate talks in Copenhagen because its greenhouse gas emissions from peat bogs and deforestation are a major contributor to global warming.

But the 2007 World Bank report which described Indonesia as the world's third-largest emitter of greenhouse gases after the United States and China was not accurate, according to the Indonesian government's Second National Communication -- a formal report on the state of Indonesia's emissions.

"When I hear people say we are number three, I feel put out. It's not right," Environment Minister Gusti Muhammad Hatta told reporters at the launch of the report in Jakarta.

"Other countries have not reported their data so how can they say we are number three? Maybe Indonesia is just too honest."

The Second National Communication found that in 2000, Indonesia's greenhouse gas emissions were around 1,415,988 gigagrams, far lower than the 3,014,000 gigagrams of emissions that the 2007 World Bank study found.

Hakan Bjorkman, country director for the United Nations Development Programme, also said that the 2007 study was not accurate.

"That ranking that was done a few years ago didn't use comparable years and data," he told reporters.

Indonesia's President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has promised cuts of up to 26 percent by 2020, or 41 percent by 2050, with funding and technological support from developed countries.

The Second National Communication listed several possible ways that Indonesia could reduce its emissions but did not set a target date for implementation.

Among the strategies were proposals to develop more geothermal and waste energy sources, increase power plant efficiency, reduce illegal logging by 43 per cent and restore production forests by 35 per cent.

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