Possibility of Ratification by 2018: High
Indonesia signed the Paris Agreement on April 22nd, 2016. Although Indonesia has yet to ratify the agreement, the government is committed to reducing emissions and following through with ratification. In order to ratify the agreement, it must first be submitted by the ‘institution initiating the agreement to the president through the minister of foreign affairs. The president can conclude international treaties with the consent of the Dewan Perwakilan Rakyat (DPR, House the Representatives). The DPR has 560 seats that are determined by population. The DPR, in Article 3 of the constitution, makes decisions by a simple majority vote. For ratification, the signature of the President and the simple majority vote will pass the agreement.
Before signing the agreement, the Minister of Environment and Forestry Siti Nurbaya stated that the NDCs (nationally determined contributions) should be more ambitious than the initial INDCs (intended nationally determined contributions). Further, Rachmat Witoelar, the chief of President Joko Widodo’s Working Unit for Climate Change Control (UKP-PPI) stated before signing the agreement in New York that “Indonesia should be one of the first 55 countries to adopt the ratification process, and I hope Indonesia will immediately implement it.” These are encouraging signs of the commitment of the executive branch to implement the Paris Agreement.
The president supports the Paris Agreement and therefore it is likely that the Government Coalition will vote to ratify. The Government Coalition holds 386 seats of 560. However, it is worth noting that the National Awakening Party (PKB) which holds 47 seats tends to be slight right of center and therefore might not fall in line with the government coalition. Additionally, one of their platforms is to “accelerate the development of disadvantaged regions”, which would be more challenging under emissions restrictions. The unaligned Partai Demokrat tends to prefer neoliberal policies and is center right; its 61 members may not favor the agreement. Gerindra is part of the Red and White Coalition but is more of left wing party and recognizes that global warming is an important issue. Gerindra holds 73 seats. Even if the more moderate members of the Government Coalition do not back the agreement, the more left wing parties (PDI-P, Gerindra, Hanura, United Development Party (PPP), and Nasdem) hold 273 seats. It is likely that more will be picked up from Golkar, Partai Demokrat and the National Mandate Party (PAN) to pass the 280 vote threshold.
Indonesia is the sixth largest emitter of greenhouse gases in the world partly due to its forestry and land use. Activities such as slash and burn farming, palm oil production, and dry weather have contributed to Indonesia’s greenhouse emissions from fires due to forest clearing and peatland destruction. Indonesia’s mangroves store some 3.14 billion tons of carbon. To demonstrate the huge importance of Indonesia’s forests in the global carbon sink, Indonesian mangroves hold as much to 3 to 5 times more carbon as the same area of rainforest would hold. Further, Indonesia’s peatlands are a massive carbon repository and makeup 80% of the world’s total peatlands. The destruction of these vital carbon sinks is a hurdle for Indonesia’s emission reductions. Given the economic growth of Indonesia, by 2025 energy generation from coal will match the emissions of land use and forestry. It is therefore essential that Indonesia not only address emissions that are the result of forestry and land use, but ensure that its rapid economic development will be sustainable, renewable, and will not result in steep increases in their greenhouse emissions.
Submitted by Climate Scorecard Country Manager Tristan Grupp