Lower than expected, but no turning back

Fitrian Ardiansyah ,  Jakarta Post, Copenhagen, Road to Copenhagen   |  Tue, 12/22/2009 9:59 AM  |  Environment

After two years of formal negotiations, countries under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) have “agreed to take note of” the Copenhagen Accord, without committing to accept it.

Countries wrangled and played hardball until the very last minute to produce a political but non-binding document crafted by the world leaders.

Falling sharply short of what we need – a fair, ambitious, legally binding global climate agreement — the Copenhagen COP (Conference of Parties)-15 with its Accord does still provide some real additions to ongoing negotiations.

Nevertheless, this political agreement does not offer a clear global greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction target for 2020 and 2050, in particular for developed countries.

Under the annex of the Accord, developed countries will make individual pledges to reduce their GHG emissions. However, they are not required to provide an aggregate target, and there are also no targets for 2020 or 2050.

Unfortunately, the current pledges on the table right now may not be sufficient to hold global warming to no more than 2 degrees Celsius. Unless more stringent targets and actions are committed to in the future, pledges may lead instead to a global average temperature rise of 3.9 degrees Celsius.

To prevent global warming from exceeding 2 degrees Celsius, industrialized countries need to commit to reducing their emissions by 40 percent by 2020, compared to 1990 levels.

Therefore, all countries need to continue pushing and lobbying industrialized countries into reducing their emissions.

The big question is whether the Accord can be used as the basis for forging the future legal instrument building on the Kyoto Protocol, including the aspects of compliance and enforcement, so that developed countries, such as the US, will commit to stronger GHG emissions reduction targets.

Governments under the UNFCCC in 2010 need to create a legally binding framework with an amended Kyoto Protocol, and strengthen this Accord leading to a new Protocol, which secures the survival of countries, cultures and ecosystems.

The Accord includes an annex of developing countries’ contribution to emissions reduction under the Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions (NAMAs). However, the Accord does not allude to long-term plans assisting countries in migrating to low-carbon economies from now to 2050.

To secure this pathway, developing countries need to agree on taking significant action to reduce their emissions to at least 30 percent less than business-as-usual (BAU) by 2020.

Another crucial angle of the Accord is the provision of a climate fund with goals for short-term and 2020 financing.

Some US$30 billion was committed to helping developing countries adapt to climate change, including in the forestry sector, with longer-term financing possibly reaching up to $100 billion by 2020.

A Copenhagen Green climate fund will be created as an operating entity to administer this financial scheme.

This is a good sign, as for many years, it has proved difficult to obtain financial commitment from developed countries to help developing countries tackle climate change.

However, the Accord has yet to elaborate on the sources of this financing. It is still unclear how much will come from carbon markets or public finance.

All countries, including Indonesia, the refore need to push for more detail on financing arrangements in 2010.

Another breakthrough in the Accord was the compromised reached between developed and developing countries regarding the measurement, reporting and verification (MRV) of actions aimed at mitigating climate change.

This hopefully will ensure that commitments pledged by countries will be realized in a more transparent way.

Assessments will be carried out through international consultation and analysis based on information provided by individual countries. The overall assessment of the implementation of this Accord shall be completed by 2015.

For Indonesia, another sign of hope is the recognition – in the Accord – of the crucial role of REDD-plus – reducing emission from deforestation and forest degradation.

Overall, the Copenhagen Accord is still miles away from guaranteeing a safer future for our current and next generations.

Outcomes from Copenhagen’s COP-15 in Copenhagen were lower than expected. But time, however, is limited, hence there is no turning back.

Countries around the world need to work harder to transform the Accord into a stronger legally binding agreement, an agreement that will equip us politically and financially to cope with climate challenges at global, national and local levels.

The writer is program director of climate & energy at WWF-Indonesia, and adjunct lecturer at Paramadina Graduate School of Diplomacy. He can be reached at fardiansyah@wwf.or.id

Original link: http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2009/12/22/lower-expected-no-turning-back.html


Seeing light at the end of the tunnel

Fitrian Ardiansyah   |  Tue, 12/15/2009 10:34 AM  |  Environment

Tens of thousands protesters who took to the streets last Saturday and roughly 20,000 delegates inside the Climate Conference building have warmed the temperature a notch in Denmark’s chilly capital, demanding and negotiating a global climate agreement.

Prior to observing or getting involved in the roller-coaster negotiations, delegates need to be reminded of the aim of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

The UNFCCC, ratified by 192 countries, is designed to keep levels of greenhouse gases (GHG) in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous climate change.

One of the key elements of the UNFCCC is the idea that its 192 parties should combat climate change “on the basis of equality and in accordance with their common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities”.

This means that all parties involved have a responsibility, but developed nations must carry the burden, as they have greater capabilities and historical responsibilities.

This is why the treaty later on set provisions known as the Kyoto Protocol that resulted in mandatory emission limits for developed countries.

The protocol was the first international agreement setting binding targets for industrialized countries to reduce GHG emissions by at least 5 percent compared to 1990 levels. This is carried out in the first commitment period of the protocol starting from 2008 and ending in 2012.

The United States, however, never ratified the Kyoto Protocol. It is felt that without the involvement of the US, any international agreement is limited in its ability to tackle climate change.

At the Bali Conference of Parties (COP-13), the UNFCCC concluded with the adoption of the Bali Action Plan (BAP) – a number of forward-looking decisions or various tracks to be completed by 2009, which are essential to reaching a secure climate future after 2012.

Under the dual-track negotiation mechanism, two working groups are conducting the UN-led climate change talks, the Ad Hoc Working Group on Further Commitments for Annex I Parties under the Kyoto Protocol (AWG-KP) and the Ad Hoc Working Group on Long-term Cooperative Actions under the Convention (AWG-LCA).

AWG-KP’s objective is to forge an agreement on future commitments for industrialized countries (or also known as Annex I Parties) under the Kyoto Protocol.

AWG-LCA’s aim is to enable the full, effective and sustained implementation of the convention through long-term cooperative action, now, up to and beyond 2012, so that an agreed outcome can be reached at its fifteenth session and a decision taken.

For about two years, parties involved in the UNFCCC have been debating and exchanging arguments through these two tracks or working groups.

In Copenhagen, parties to the convention proposed many texts under these two tracks while aiming to reach an agreement through a dynamic process.

While the Danish, AOSIS (Alliance of Small Island States), BASIC (Brazil, South Africa, India and China) each distributed their draft texts of the agreement earlier last week, the chairmen of AWG-LCA and AWG-KP finally circulated their drafts on Saturday.

Some countries and NGOs reacted with a quick statement and welcomed the texts as a good basis for further negotiations, even though significant gaps still need filling.

In general, it appears that the dual-track approach to reaching a global climate treaty is still alive and a possible outcome of this process. Small island states that insist on having two protocols as an outcome of COP-15 may be relieved the chair’s text for the Kyoto Protocol breathes new life into the second commitment period of Kyoto.

In an ideal dual-track scenario, the combination of the two working groups’ texts would form the basis for the Copenhagen Protocol — a continuation of Kyoto and an opening for discussions on a possible second treaty, capturing those issues ill-addressed in Kyoto: US participation, actions of developing countries, reducing emissions from deforestation, technology and other issues.

These draft agreements circulated last week have caused a few disagreements. The European Union, Japan, Australia and the US have criticized these draft texts because they state major developing nations can only reduce their GHG emissions if they receive financial support.

Rich nations want emerging economies to limit emissions with or without financial help.

There is further work to be done as important elements for an effective treaty are still missing.

The Kyoto Protocol text, for instance, has yet to specify the level of emission reductions, and ministers will have to fill in the numbers.

The LCA text includes numbers for both mid- and long-term emission reductions, but ministers will have to choose from various available options — both weak and strong — currently stuck inside square brackets, so to speak.

Global warming needs to be limited to below 2 degrees Celsius. To achieve this, global average emission reductions need to be in the above end of 25-40 percent compared to 1990 levels by 2020, and around 80 percent by 2050.

Developed country pledges on the table, which amount to an aggregate of about 10 to 17 percent of emission reductions by 2020, are certainly insufficient. Developed countries need to aim for more emission-reduction commitments.

Developing countries need to agree to register all of their domestic mitigation actions with the UNFCCC in accordance with the Convention. Only actions receiving (financial, technological and capacity building) support should be subject to measurement, reporting and verification (MRV) at the international level.

Other important gaps in the draft texts include long-term financing, technology, adaptation and clear safeguarding, as well as a push for action to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation.

Short-term financing is required to build the institutions and capacities needed for long-term financing.

Long-term finance commitments, just like targets, need to be included in an annex to ensure transparency and predictability.

Roughly US$160 billion per year of financing is needed in the next commitment period, from multiple and innovative sources — including bunker fuels and AAU/Assigned Amount Units auctioning. Governance issues need to be resolved.

This does not preclude the use of market instruments or carbon sinks as such, but any agreement must result in real GHG emission cuts.

For about two years, parties involved in the UNFCCC, many observers and the public have been asking for solid texts that would allow for real negotiations and result in a legally binding outcome.
The time to produce these solid texts is nearing.

The current momentum is critical, putting ministers and heads of states coming to Copenhagen this week on a path to serious progress in tackling dangerous climate change.

The presence of 100 leaders, including President Yudhoyono, will hopefully take us further to see light at the end of the tunnel. The light is hopefully a new global climate agreement.

The writer is program director of climate & energy at WWF-Indonesia, and adjunct lecturer at Paramadina Graduate School of Diplomacy. He can be reached at fardiansyah@wwf.or.id

Original link: http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2009/12/15/seeing-light-end-tunnel.html

Understanding Indonesia’s emission cuts inside out

ROAD to COPENHAGEN, Fitrian Ardiansyah, Contributor, Copenhagen, Tue 12/08/2009, Environment

On this second day of two weeks of negotiations at the UN Climate Conference, it is crucial for an emerging economy like Indonesia to fully understand how it is planning to contribute to climate solutions.

With some 20,000 participants involved and the rest of the world observing closely, the 15th Session of the Conference of Parties (COP-13) of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) will hopefully result in a stronger global climate agreement.

Regardless of what happens in Copenhagen, Indonesia will need to come up with an action plan at the domestic level to reduce green house gas (GHG) emissions for its own benefit and the survival of the nation and its people.

On Sept. 25, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono stated in a speech to G20 leaders that his government was devising a policy to cut GHG emissions by 26 percent by 2020 from “business as usual” (BAU) levels. He expressed confidence that, with international support, Indonesia could cut emissions by as much as 41 percent.

The policy would mix stepping up investment in the energy sector, especially to boost energy efficiency and renewable energy, as well as addressing emissions from deforestation and changes in land use, including from forest and land fires.

Since then, there have been attempts to assess the feasibility of this GHG emissions reduction target and provide important steps for Indonesia to reach this goal.

The launching of the Second National Communication (SNC) to the UNFCCC — a report presenting Indonesia’s progress in addressing climate change mitigation and adaptation — together with detailed information on Indonesia’s GHG emissions was one of those attempts.

The SNC recorded Indonesia’s GHG emissions were around 594,738 gigagrams (Gg) CO2e in 2000 without land use, land use change, forestry and peat fires (LULUCF), and had significantly increased to about 1,415,988 Gg CO2e with the inclusion of LULUCF.

According to the Environment Ministry, SNC will be used as a reference and basis for the formulation of policies and programs to reach the GHG emissions reduction target declared by the President.

The SNC listed several possible ways Indonesia could reduce its emissions: developing more geothermal and waste energy sources, increasing the efficiency of power plants, reducing illegal logging and restoring production forests.

None of these strategies, however, seems to touch upon the most effective way to reduce GHG emissions in this country.

For instance, many studies have reported that deforestation, peat degradation and forest and land fires are currently the biggest source of GHG emissions in Indonesia. Addressing these is key to reducing the country’s GHG emissions.

GHG emissions in this sector usually come from forests being converted to grow crops, build infrastructure, settlements and set up mining operations; illegal and destructive logging outside and inside legal forest concessions; and forest and land fires to clear space for some agricultural lands.

The government should focus primarily on conserving and using the remaining primary and high conservation value forests and terrestrial ecosystems in a sustainable manner.

This option needs to be prioritized since the deforestation rate still outweighs that of reforestation — the annual rate of deforestation stands at 0.8 to 1.09 million hectares compared to 0.3 to 0.6 million hectares for reforestation.

The government should also prioritize sustainable and responsible land use development, which will take the pressure off forests and peatlands by increasing productivity of existing crop farms and optimizing the use of abandoned lands.

With regards to oil palm, there is no need to expand plantations at the expense of forests and peatlands, if their productivity can be improved. Growth in demand could be met by improving yield on existing plantations by 1.5 to 2.0 percent per year, according to a study conducted by Unilever.

Even if agricultural development requires new lands, various statistics have indicated that between 7 and 14 million hectares of degraded, abandoned and/or idle lands may be used.

Not all of these lands are likely to be available and feasible for development. Hence, comprehensive analysis will be needed to ensure these lands can be sustainably and responsibly developed.

Some governors will have to take strong positions to contribute to this effort.

Last year, the governors of Sumatra’s 10 provinces, along with the Indonesian ministry of forestry, the environment, interior and public works, reached an agreement to restore critical ecosystems in Sumatra and protect areas with high conservation values.

These governors will also work together to develop ecosystem-based spatial plans that will serve as the basis for future development on the island.

Hence, central and local governments need to work together closely to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation.

In addition, fossil fuel combustions must factor into any strategy to reduce GHG emissions by 26 percent. Although GHG emissions from this sector are currently lower than land use, land use change and forestry, Indonesia’s GHG emissions from the fossil fuel industry are increasing relatively fast.

This is the result of energy consumption growing almost as fast as the country’s GDP, while at the same time GHG emissions in Indonesia have grown faster than GDP. Coal is increasingly used as a source of energy.

Various policy options can be explored, including adjusting pricing policy and undertaking reforms on electricity generation.

The current energy pricing so far has led to irresponsible use of energy sources, and to some extent, rendered some energy sources scarce. It has become difficult to use renewable energy or promote energy efficiency because of the competition with some highly subsidized energy sources, noticeably fossil fuels.

The right pricing policies combined with reforms in electricity generation could provide incentives for actions and investments promoting the use of clean (gas) and renewable resources as well as improve efficiency in power generation, transmission, distribution and consumption.

Overall, the launch of SNC is a first step forward. However, there is a long way to go to ensure Indonesia contributes successfully to mitigating climate change.

A clearer road map and substantial action are required for this country to reach its own goals.   

The writer is program director of climate & energy at WWF-Indonesia, and adjunct lecturer at
Paramadina Graduate School of Diplomacy. He can be reached at

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What is at stake for Indonesia

ROAD to COPENHAGEN, Fitrian Ardiansyah ,  Jakarta   |  Tue, 12/01/2009 10:42 AM  |  Environment

Copenhagen, which will host the UN Climate conference in less than a week from now, may be far away from Indonesia. But any results coming out of this intense negotiation forum will have a significant impact on the fate of the country and the earth in general.

The Bali Action Plan (BAP), the main outcome of the 13th session of the Conference of Parties (COP-13) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) held in Bali in 2007, marked the beginning of two years of formal negotiations to reach an ambitious global climate agreement.

This plan mandates parties to negotiate and reach a substantial agreement on how to — over the long term — reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, mitigate and adapt to climate change, transfer and develop the appropriate technology as well as provide the financial resources and investment to do so.

As the host country of COP-13, it is in Indonesia’s best interest the Copenhagen conference reaches the BAP’s objectives – by having a new treaty regulating bigger GHG emissions cuts, which follows on from the Kyoto Protocol.

The current Kyoto protocol, which will expire in 2012, requires developed nations to cut GHG emissions by about 5 percent from 1990 levels to help slow global warming.

Credible science proves this level of cuts is insufficient, and that there is a need for all countries to urgently take further action.

According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the average global temperature must not rise by more than 2 degrees Celsius if we want to ensure  that most vulnerable nations, communities and ecosystems survive.

Emission reductions from developed countries therefore have to be at the high end of the IPCC’s lowest mitigation scenario strategy – between 25 to 40 percent.

However, current proposed GHG emission targets will lead to a higher than 3.5 degree Celsius increase in average global temperature by 2100, according to Climate Action Tracker’s Project Catalyst.

Although China and the US – two of the world’s biggest GHG emitters – have brightened the prospects of reaching an agreement with their current promises to curb GHG emissions, the emissions reduction targets tabled by industrialized countries currently add up to only reductions of 10 to 14 percent below 1990 levels by 2020.

Therefore, Indonesian negotiators, led by President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, need to lobby industrialized countries to push them into committing to higher emission reduction targets.

Developed countries, including the US, are required to join a strong new international agreement in Copenhagen by adopting economy-wide quantified emission reduction commitments.

The commitments of industrialized countries need to be articulated without loopholes. The main loopholes to watch out for are: offsets, reduced/abandoned Assigned Amount Unit (AAU) surplus from the previous commitment period, and unclear accounting rules for land use, land use change and forestry (LULUCF).

Beside commitments from developed countries, developing countries also need to take significant measures to contribute to climate change mitigation.

A large number of developing countries, including Indonesia, have announced they would put in place significant measures unilaterally as well as actions that require the support of industrialized countries.

These measures should be spelled out clearly and in detail under the Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions (NAMAs) at the Copenhagen conference.

With NAMAs, developing countries can aim to reach the emission reductions required and at the
same time grow their economies enough to eradicate poverty and ensure the right to sustainable

These actions need to be brought into the Copenhagen climate deal at a level that can lead to a deviation from business-as-usual scenarios of at least 30 percent by 2020.

Reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD) is a particularly important component of reducing overall GHG emissions.

With deforestation, forest degradation and other land use changes accounting for approximately 15 to 20 percent of GHG emissions, it is clear that any solution tackling climate change must include a solution to these issues.

The current rate of deforestation and forest degradation, not only affecting the world’s rich terrestrial biodiversity but also the livelihoods of more than one billion of the world’s poorest people, has clearly undermined the development of nations with tropical forests.

Therefore, it is crucial Indonesia and these nations secure a global umbrella framework for REDD as part of the post-2012 global climate agreement.

The success of the Copenhagen conference will not only mark Indonesia’s triumph in guiding the BAP but also ensure the survival of this archipelagic country, its hundreds of millions of people and precious ecosystems.

The observed and projected impacts of climate change in this country include an increase in the
severity of droughts, floods, fires, coral bleaching, the gradual rise of sea levels, and an increase in the frequency of extreme weather conditions including storms, which destroy natural and human-made systems in the area.

Therefore, it is important to set in place a framework for immediate action as part of the Copenhagen deal, especially for other vulnerable countries – including Indonesia – and ecosystems, which includes the provision of financial help to face loss and damage caused by climate change impacts.

Developing countries implementing measures to mitigate and adapt to climate change cannot be expected to do so without financial support from industrialized countries.

Indonesia needs to convince industrialized countries they have to provide fast-start financial packages between 2010 and 2012. They must then be coaxed into agreeing on multiple and innovative sources and scale of long-term funding.

This overall support must be additional to aid budgets and managed in a transparent way to help developing countries.

For the last two years, 192 governments have worked on the new agreement, incorporating a shared vision and building blocks for mitigation, adaptation, technology and finance. All the necessary proposals have been drafted and are on the table. The raw material for a new agreement exists.

To ensure the BAP is implemented and a deal is struck in Copenhagen, Indonesia has to be pro-active in lobbying the world’s negotiators and leaders to agree to the relevant parts of the future climate treaty, formulated in treaty language, based on a decision on the exact form of
an enforceable, legally binding framework.

Indonesia can use its unique position to bring the developed and developing worlds together and bridge the gap between these two blocks to reach a global climate agreement.

Positive outcomes at the COP-15 will not only help the world tackle climate change but also eventually safeguard the development and survival of Indonesia’s population and its valuable ecosystems.

The writer is program director of climate & energy at WWF-Indonesia, and adjunct lecturer at Paramadina Graduate School of Diplomacy. He can be reached at fardiansyah@wwf.or.id

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New emerging economies, new climate leaders?

ROAD to COPENHAGEN, Fitrian Ardiansyah ,  Jakarta   |  Tue, 11/24/2009 1:09 PM  |  Environment

With less than 2 weeks to go before the start of the Copenhagen conference, and with leaders from developed countries having so far failed to pave the way for a successful outcome at the summit, the world may require stronger leadership from emerging economies to provide a breakthrough.

The Copenhagen conference is a critical moment that the world has been working toward for two years since the Bali Conference of Parties (COP-13), which historically marked the beginning of 2 years of formal negotiations to reach an ambitious global climate agreement.

Its success will depend on parties reaching an agreement on how high they will set the bar to bring about reductions in emissions that will ensure the survival of the most vulnerable nations, communities and ecosystems.

To achieve this objective, industrialized countries will have to reduce their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 25 to 40 percent compared to their 1990 levels, as recommended by one of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) scenarios.

Some developed countries, e.g. the European Union (EU) and Japan, have taken this 15th Session of Conference of Parties (COP-15) of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) very seriously.

These countries committed themselves to emit 20 to 25 percent less GHG than in the 1990s by 2020.

They also promise to increase their emission reduction target if other industrialized countries and big developing countries follow suit.

Other developed countries, have yet to come up with more ambitious targets, while the US, the largest emitter of GHG and the only Annex I country that is not a signatory to the Kyoto Protocol, hasn’t even announced its GHG emissions reduction target.

On the other hand, key emerging economies such as China, India, Brazil, South Africa and Indonesia have unveiled their mitigation policies.

In the last two years, these countries have developed and completed their respective national strategies and plans to address climate change mitigation and adaptation.

These include: China’s National Climate Change Program (completed in June 2007), Indonesia’s National Action Plan addressing Climate Change (completed in November 2007), South Africa’s Long Term Mitigation Scenarios – Climate Change Policy Framework (completed in July 2008), India’s National Action Plan on Climate Change (completed in July 2008), and Brazil’s National Plan on Climate Change (completed in December 2008).

This year, some of their leaders went even further by vocalizing their aspirations to reduce their countries’ emissions to less than business as usual (BAU) by 2020.

The Indonesian President, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, has made a pledge to reduce the country’s emission by 26 percent in 2020 and by 41 percent if supported by developed countries.

His counterpart in Brazil has stated that by 2020, this country intends to reduce its emissions by between 36.1 and 38.9 percent in comparison to a BAU scenario. Both countries have also promised to reduce emissions from deforestation.

South Africa, meanwhile, said it could level off its emissions by 2025. Others, including China and India, are pouring money into green-energy projects; while China has talked about significantly reducing the carbon intensity of its industry, and in a joint statement with the US, the country flagged its intention to crystallize this objective in an international agreement.

These existing unilateral actions taken by new emerging economies may have a larger impact than many realize. Given the stage of development these emerging countries are currently at, their existing aspirations have shown they are not only courageous but also willing to contribute to climate solutions.

The existing aspirations of Brazil, China, Indonesia and South Africa alone – if implemented – will do approximately as much to reduce GHG emissions by next year as the EU hopes to accomplish by 2020, according to an analysis by the Center for Clean Air Policy.

On the other hand, climate change in developing countries can lead to significantly damage to natural, communal and business assets. Some studies typically place damage in the range of 2 to 9 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) per year for these countries, if the average temperature increases between 1.5 and 4 degrees Celsius.

People living in developing countries, including those in Asian mega-cities, along coastal areas and river deltas, are the most vulnerable to rising sea levels, storms and other phenomena arising from climate change, underscoring the threat to these peoples’ lives and economies, states a recent WWF’s report.

Hence, it is in these emerging economies’ best interest to reach successful outcomes to both mitigate and adapt to climate change in Copenhagen.

To accomplish this, leaders of emerging economies need to influence their counterparts in developed countries – especially the US – and show that Copenhagen can still deliver what the world needs. Negotiators have been working on the legal language for over a year, it is ready and the only missing ingredient is political will to make the final calls and turn it into a treaty text.

The text needs to capture the important progress that has been made to date – partly by these emerging economies – and create a clear, fast path towards a final legally binding document. This document may not need to capture every detail but certainly has to incorporate ambitious objectives.

Regardless of the outcomes reached at Copenhagen, emerging economies need to urgently take action in their own backyards. A less carbon-intensive development needs to be mainstreamed to ensure these countries develop in a sustainable manner, with a positive effect on the global climate system.

These actions will also contribute to achieving sustainable development objectives, such as energy security, sustainable economic development, technological innovation, job creation, local environmental protection and enhancement of emerging countries’ capacity to adapt to climate change impacts.

However, these actions require adequate, sufficient and sustainable financing. The finance available within emerging economies and the one offered by developed countries to pay for low-carbon development and adaptation to the impacts of climate change is currently inadequate.

In Copenhagen, leaders of new emerging economies need to ensure that this coming agreement will provide innovative sources of funding and a commitment to financial support in addition to the already stretched aid budgets.

A deal with low targets and no financial support to pay for low-carbon actions in developing countries will not halt the world’s trajectory towards dangerous global warming.

Achieving favorable outcomes in Copenhagen is not impossible. There is still time and opportunity to turn Copenhagen around, but this requires political will.

Leaders of emerging economies hand in hand with their counterparts need to commit to action to reduce emissions, to provide sufficient public financing through reliable mechanisms, to protect forests, and to support the most vulnerable countries to adapt to and prepare for the impacts of climate change.

Only if leaders step up at this unique moment will history judge them as climate leaders and heroes. For this, the future is literally in their hands.

The writer is program director of climate & energy at WWF-Indonesia, and adjunct lecturer at Paramadina Graduate School of Diplomacy. He can be reached at fardiansyah@wwf or.id

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