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Cablegate: Climate Change - Taking Advantage of Sby's Moment

VZCZCXRO6847
OO RUEHCHI RUEHCN RUEHDT RUEHHM
DE RUEHJA #1562/01 2591041
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 161041Z SEP 09
FM AMEMBASSY JAKARTA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 3351
INFO RUEHZS/ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS COLL
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHINGTON DC
RUEHRC/USDA FAS WASHDC
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHINGTON DC
RUEHNY/AMEMBASSY OSLO 0186
RUEHBR/AMEMBASSY BRASILIA 0227
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 3078
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 5980
RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 3661
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 5409
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 JAKARTA 001562

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR SECC, OES/EGC, AND EAP/MTS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAGR EAID KGHG SENV PREL ID
SUBJECT: Climate Change - Taking Advantage of SBY's Moment

REF: A. Jakarta 1421
B. Jakarta 1473

1. (U) This is an action message; please see para 8.

2. (SBU) Summary: The U.S. has an opportunity to shape newly
re-elected President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono's (SBY) climate
agenda. The U.S. could seek a Yudhoyono presidential declaration -
perhaps timed for President Obama's potential visit in November - to
limit new plantations to previously degraded land. This will
significantly reduce emissions by preserving Indonesia's forests and
peat lands. An enhanced U.S. partnership on environmental
management and climate will help Yudhoyono confront vested logging,
plantation and bureaucratic interests. Our partnership with
Indonesia could catalyze additional hundreds of millions of dollars
in donor support from other nations. A Yudhoyono announcement could
provide a boost to Copenhagen negotiations in December. End
Summary.

3. (SBU) As the third largest global emitter, Indonesia is key to
any global solution for climate change. While Indonesia alone does
not have the influence to determine a global deal on climate, its
non-participation or failure to achieve reductions would cause any
global solution to fail. Roughly 80% of Indonesia's green house gas
(GHG) emissions come from the annual degradation of forests and peat
lands, and that number accounts for about 5% of world emissions.
While industrial sources of emissions in Indonesia are predicted to
rise several fold in the coming few decades, destruction of forests
and peat negatively impact the world today. In addition, the cost
for GHG reductions from forests and peat could be much cheaper than
other sources of global reductions.

A Chance to Leave Behind a Lasting Legacy
-----------------------------------------

4. (SBU) Indonesian President Yudhoyono won his re-election by
majority popular vote, giving him an increased (but certainly not
absolute) ability to confront vested interests. Yudhoyono has a
strong record of international leadership on climate with the
hosting of COP-13, the Bali Action Plan, the Forest-11, the Coral
Triangle Initiative and the World Ocean Conference. He will be
looking to leave a legacy by the end of his final term in office in
2014, and we assess that he would consider Indonesian leadership and
contributions to a global climate solution as a potential
achievement.

Indonesian Declaration on Peat and Forests
------------------------------------------

5. (SBU) In the past few years, Yudhoyono has privately stated that
he agrees that every country must take on binding emission reduction
commitments, though at differing levels for advanced and developing
countries. Indonesia indicated that it may be willing to commit to
a specific reduction of 40% from its business-as-usual (BAU)
scenario if it receives assistance from donor countries. In order
to be credible, Indonesia needs to take some initial steps to reduce
its emissions. Yudhoyono's senior advisors say a presidential
declaration, having the force of law, to reduce emissions from
forests and peat lands is in the realm of possibility, but would
require high-level support and encouragement from the U.S. and other
donors (Ref A). Such a declaration would set a clear direction for
Indonesia at the outset of Yudhoyono's new administration. Such a
concrete positive step could help inject momentum into Copenhagen
discussions and lay the groundwork for putting peer pressure on
other key actors in the negotiations.

6. (SBU) But Yudhoyono would need clear support from the U.S. to
take this bold step. Advisors and Indonesia climate experts
repeatedly say that Yudhoyono must be armed with viable alternatives
for the vested interests if he is to effectively change behavior.
Ideally, pending US climate legislation that creates a carbon market
with international offsets, including "avoided deforestation," would
provide the incentives to Indonesia for saving its forests and peat
lands. Short of a ready announcement on U.S. legislation, there is
a smaller, but significant package of U.S. assistance that could be
characterized as seed support.

U.S. Support Augmented by International Donors
--------------------------------------------- -


JAKARTA 00001562 002 OF 002


7. (SBU) These bilateral activities include USAID's $150 million in
climate related assistance on mitigation on forestry and energy and
adaptation on marine and water/sanitation. In addition to the
Tropical Forest Conservation Act (TFCA) recently launched in Sumatra
for $30 million, the U.S. could announce the beginning of work for a
TFCA for Papua. We also recently proposed an Indonesia-U.S. Center
for Sustainable Ocean Fisheries to assist with food security (Ref
B). However, the totaling of the assistance packages by other major
donor nations could possibly reach up to a billion dollars. This
would make an even more compelling case for Indonesia to take
positive game-changing action. Senior Indonesian climate officials
have indicated privately that such numbers would help turn
Indonesian thinking toward the benefits of conservation instead of
cutting forests down for the wood or draining peat lands for
plantations. International donors resident in Jakarta have said
they welcome U.S. leadership in pressing Indonesia for policy change
and renewed engagement on donor assistance on climate.

8. (SBU) Action Request: Senior U.S. climate officials should
propose the concept of advancing the U.S.-Indonesia climate
partnership through the presidential declaration and U.S. support
package at the next opportunity with senior Indonesian officials.
Post understands that Minister of Environment and Chief Climate
Negotiator Rachmat Witoelar will attend the September MEF, G-20
meeting, and UN meetings.

OSIUS

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