Cablegate: Climate Change Funds for Southeast Asia Best Spent In
OO RUEHCHI RUEHCN RUEHDT RUEHHM
DE RUEHJA #1970 3360817
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 020817Z DEC 09
FM AMEMBASSY JAKARTA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 3963
INFO RUEHZS/ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS COLL
UNCLAS JAKARTA 001970
FROM AMBASSADOR HUME TO THE SECRETARY
DEPT FOR D-LEW, EAP A/S CAMPBELL, AND S/ECC TODD STERN
USAID FOR A/A MARGOS ELLIS
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAGR EAID KGHG SENV PREL ID
SUBJECT: Climate Change Funds for Southeast Asia Best Spent in
REF: A) Jakarta 1314, B) Bangkok 2259
1. (SBU) The Department should invest limited U.S. funds for climate
change where potential gains are the greatest. In Southeast Asia,
that place is Indonesia. I urge that the proposed Asia Regional
Center for Excellence on Climate Change (ARC) be put in Indonesia.
2. (SBU) Indonesia, the only Southeast Asian country in the G-20, is
taking a stronger role in regional and global affairs. At the 13th
UN Conference of the Parties in Bali, Yudhoyono sponsored the Bali
Road Map to move discussions forward. He also brought together six
neighboring nations to launch the Coral Triangle Initiative to
protect the biodiversity and food sources in those critical waters.
In May 2009, he hosted the World Oceans Conference, where you sent a
well-received video address, to bring oceans into the climate
debate. Yudhoyono advanced current global negotiations on climate
when he declared at the Pittsburg G-20 Indonesia's unilateral
commitment to reduce emissions by 26% below a business-as-usual
(BAU) scenario by 2020, or by 41% with international assistance.
Indonesia was the first developing country to break ranks with the
G-77 in stark contrast to China and India.
3. (SBU) Indonesia is the world's third largest emitter of
greenhouse gases. Its forests and peat lands house the world's
second highest terrestrial biodiversity and its tropical forest
coverage ranks only behind Brazil and the Congo. Indonesia's waters
host the world's highest marine biodiversity and the potential for
climate-related adaptation successes, including on food security,
could be brought to the region and as far as Africa in the future.
4. (SBU) Over the next two decades, this growing Muslim-majority
population country of 240 million, 41% of ASEAN, will see its energy
usage and industry expand to where emissions will increase over
seven fold. A low-carbon, green growth path is necessary, as much
as it is for China and India. There can be no global solution to
climate change without Indonesia.
Impact for the Region and the 3rd Largest Emitter
5. (SBU) The proposed ARC will have its largest impact, politically
and practically, on the country where it is located. During their
bilateral meeting at APEC, Presidents Obama and Yudhoyono discussed
Indonesia's importance to the world stage as a participant in G-20,
a key member of ASEAN, and major player on climate change. Placing
the ARC in Indonesia would reinforce POTUS' message regarding
Indonesia's importance to the region and to global affairs.
Indonesia's centrality to ASEAN will facilitate regional work on
climate mitigation, adaptation and energy. Already, Indonesia
stands as a locus of peat lands and forests research and policy
experimentation. Its waters merit climate science focus and
adaptation efforts. Its energy and industry is large enough, yet
not yet emitting heavily, to apply low carbon growth strategies.
Lessons learned could be adapted as best practices for other nations
with significant forests, coastal communities and growing
industries. In the process of serving the region, placement of this
center in Indonesia also will contribute to reducing many more tons
of greenhouse gases in this third largest emitting country than if
it were placed elsewhere.