Environment Ministry’s hard work pays off as Indonesian parliament ratifies Paris Agreement

(foresthints.news) - Indonesia's Minister of the Environment and Forestry, Dr Siti Nurbaya, has successfully carried out the directive from President Joko Widodo of getting the House of Representatives to endorse a bill ratifying the Paris Agreement at a Plenary Session of Parliament in Jakarta on Wednesday (Oct 19).

The process of gaining parliament’s approval on this matter was initiated with a letter sent by the President to the parliament (Oct 7) requesting that a draft bill be drawn up concerning the ratification of the Paris Agreement.

The parliament subsequently acted upon this presidential letter (Oct 11), by assigning a parliamentary commission to discuss the letter with the Environment and Forestry Minister.

A working meeting was then held between the minister and parliament (Oct 12), which included listening to the aspirations of all relevant stakeholders, especially experts and civil society groups.

Once this process was complete, final deliberations took place (Oct 17) between the minister and parliament, the outcome of which saw all parliamentary factions express their approval for taking the ratification of the Paris Agreement to the Plenary Meeting (Oct 19).

After President Joko Widodo signs off on the law in the near future, thereby bringing it into force, the law will emulate the Paris Agreement in being ‘legally binding and applicable to all’, in this case in Indonesia, while also upholding the principle of ‘common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities’.

“Climate change control is relevant to the mandate of the constitution of Indonesia”, said the minister in a speech representing the government at the plenary session.

The minister emphasized that Indonesia - as a country made up of more than 17 thousand islands and with most of its provincial capitals as well as 65% of its population located in vulnerable coastal areas - has a huge interest in climate change control, particularly through mitigation and adaptation measures.

“Holding the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2 °C above pre-industrial levels and pursuing efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 °C form part of our national objectives,” the minister stressed.

In her speech, the minister explained to parliament about the negative effects of climate change that Indonesia has suffered and is currently experiencing.

By enshrining the Paris Agreement in law, the minister continued, Indonesia will be able to step up the protection of areas which are particularly susceptible to the impact of climate change.

With respect to gaining parliamentary approval, the minister used her remarks to express her thanks and appreciation to parliament, while also expressing the hope that Indonesia’s legislative body will continue to provide its support in carrying out efforts aimed at climate change control.

The Indonesian government, represented by the Environment and Forestry Minister, became a signatory to the Paris Agreement to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change on Earth Day this year in New York (Apr 22).

“Since signing the Paris Agreement in New York, we have been working incredibly hard to get the agreement turned into law. As such, we are now very pleased and grateful that parliament has approved this. Our President’s commitment to this cause has been clearly underlined by his backing for the Paris Agreement and its implementation. We should be very appreciative of his efforts in this regard,” the minister told foresthints.news (Oct 19).