Indonesia hopes Bali meeting will spur climate change fight

Other News Materials 21 September 2007 23:57 (UTC +04:00)

( RIA Novosti ) - Indonesia's environment minister has said he hopes a UN conference on climate change on the Island of Bali December 3-14 will give a boost to efforts to curb global warming.

Diplomats hope the Bali conference will usher in talks on a global deal to replace the Kyoto Protocol to cut carbon emissions blamed for global warming. Rachmat Witoelar said that although the protocol does not expire until 2012, discussions on any new agreement need to start now.

"We want to have a Bali Road Map for the better understanding and the better execution of what we have been talking about. A road map showing, when and how we do this, this, and this, and in the end we have a clear picture of where to go," the minister said in a RIA Novosti interview.

"We have to start seeking this consensus now because so many different aspects of the life on this planet, of the environment are to be talked about and negotiated. There would be binding solutions - Kyoto is also binding - and that is why the preparatory stage is very, very long," he said.

"Let us stop arguing, let us even stop talking about it, let us start working. And Bali is an ideal place for that," Witoelar said.

The Asian country, which consists of 17,000 islands, could lose about 2,000 of its small islets by 2030, when sea levels are expected to rise by about 90 centimeters, according to UN experts.

The Kyoto Protocol obliges 35 industrial states, which have ratified the document, to cut emissions by 5% below the 1990 levels by 2008-2012. The United States, a major polluter, has pulled out from the protocol saying this could damage its economy. Developed and developing countries have been in a dispute over who should bear the main burden of carbon emission restrictions.

U.S. President George W. Bush pledged his commitment to climate change talks at a Group of Eight summit in Germany in June. Ex-Vice President Al Gore and Californian Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger are expected to take part in the Bali conference to be attended by about 10,000 participants.

Witoelar earlier said the developed world should pay Indonesia for keeping its forests echoing Malaysia's former premier, Mahathir Mohamad, who said in the 1990s that countries which had destroyed their forests to pay for their industrial revolution should now pay the developing countries who also need this resource for the same reason, but cannot cut forests because of the threat of climate change.

"This is one of the things we would be talking in Bali, where we have to find a win-win solution because we want the world to benefit from this scheme," the minister said.