Indonesia's Parliament ratifies Paris Agreement on climate change

Forests covered by smoke in Seulawah, Indonesia.
Forests covered by smoke in Seulawah, Indonesia.PHOTO: AFP

JAKARTA - Indonesia's Parliament has ratified the Paris Agreement on climate change, cementing the country's commitment to reduce toxic carbon emissions and fight global warming.

The global environment pact was approved by lawmakers during a plenary session in the House on Wednesday (Oct 19) morning.

The binding Paris Agreement, aimed at curbing the emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases, will see emissions slashed and global temperature increases kept to "well below" 2 deg C.

Indonesia, one of the world's top greenhouse gas emitters, produced 760 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalents in 2012. The figure reached 1,981 million tons if the effects of deforestation and other land-use changes were included, according to data from global environment think-tank, World Resources Institute (WRI).

The government has faced international pressure to enforce land-management reforms after massive land and forest fires blamed on oil palm and pulp and paper businesses led to devastating regional haze crisis last year.

The clearing of peatland using the cheap slash-and-burn technique releases great volumes of carbon into the atmosphere.

Indonesia has pledged to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 29 per cent by 2030, and up to 41 per cent with foreign support including technology and finance.

Indonesia's ratification will help to advance the deal's enactment, which was agreed in Paris last December by more than 190 countries after years of negotiations.

The agreement requires at least 55 countries, representing at least 55 per cent of the total greenhouse gas emissions, to ratify it before it comes into force.