Indonesia aims to start pilot carbon market as soon as next year

In a file photo taken on March 2, 2016, a tug boat pulls a coal barge along the Mahakam River in Samarinda, East Kalimantan province, Indonesia. PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON (BLOOMBERG) - Indonesia plans to start a pilot carbon market as soon as next year, part of its effort to meet emission goals the South-east Asian nation committed to under the 2015 Paris Agreement, according to a government official.

The pilot market will run for "a few years" before it becomes a permanent fixture, Dida Gardera, assistant deputy minister for environment conservation at the Coordinating Ministry for Economic Affairs, said in a phone interview.

"We will give some kind of incentive or reward to companies, or to the private sector, who reduce their emissions," Gardera said from Madrid, where he's attending United Nations-organised global climate talks.

Indonesia's market will have a "fairly loose cap" that will gradually become tighter year by year, he added, without providing specifics.

A global emissions trading system is the main agenda item as envoys from nearly 200 countries gather in Madrid this month for the climate talks, known as COP25.

Indonesia's domestic pilot programme will go ahead regardless of what's achieved in Madrid, Gardera said.

Indonesia, the fourth-biggest nation by population and one of the top coal exporters, announced in October that it plans to launch a carbon market under the newly-created Environment Fund Agency, which will be supervised by the finance ministry.

The existing UN carbon market collapsed about seven years ago as demand dried up and supply continued to rise.

Envoys at the talks this week are debating how to structure international carbon trading after 2020, as part of the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change. It's unclear whether they will reach a deal.

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.