Ambitious roadmap needed in Bali

On 3-14 December, the thirteenth annual negotiating conference for members of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change will take place on the Indonesian island of Bali.


Friends of the Earth International

November 26, 2007


On 3-14 December, the thirteenth annual negotiating conference for members of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change will take place on the Indonesian island of Bali.

Friends of the Earth International will be lobbying for the launch of an ambitious roadmap at the negotiations that will lead to real changes that are urgently needed in order to address the climate crisis.

Friends of the Earth International Climate Campaign Coordinator Joseph Zacune said:

“Industrialised nations must commit to stringent targets and timetables that ensure steep emissions’ reductions after peaking by 2015. Those countries with the greatest responsibility for historical and continuing greenhouse gas emissions have sufficient wealth to act and must do so. The inequitable consumption of resources by the North and exploitation of resources from the South has led to ecological debt that must be repaid. A comprehensive package of mitigation and adaptation efforts is required and false solutions such as agrofuels, nuclear power and carbon offset projects including monoculture tree plantations must be resolutely excluded.”

Friends of the Earth Indonesia / WALHI Deputy Director Farah Sofa said:

“Indonesia, the host of these climate talks, has been used as a testing ground for a major, false solution to climate change – agrofuels. The destruction of tropical forests in Indonesia, including the draining and burning of peatland to clear land for plantation crops such as palm oil releases so many tons of carbon that Indonesia ranks in third place behind the US and China as the top emitters of greenhouse gases.”

Friends of the Earth International Climate Campaign Coordinator Stephanie Long said:

“Current commitments from the industrialised world to fund mitigation and adaptation programs in the global South are grossly inadequate and based on voluntary 'charity' rather than real assessments of needs and attribution of responsibility. Clearly, the industrialised world has profited significantly from over a century of producing greenhouse gas emissions that perversely will provide protection from climate change impacts. Globally, billions of dollars are spent annually on military defense and repayment of odious debts with undeniable environmental and social costs. Such quantities of funds must be redirected to adaptation programs that provide relief for the vulnerable communities and build resilience to climate change impacts.”

Friends of the Earth International Climate Campaign Coordinator Hildebrando Velez said:

“Governments need to promote measures that allow us to achieve sustainable societies by, for example, supporting community-level decision-making over energy sources and consumption patterns, the phasing out of fossil fuel subsidies and shifting investment to clean renewable energy and energy efficiency. These measures must be urgently carried out without false solutions such as agrofuels and carbon offseting that are being promoted to shirk responsibilities.”

In Indonesia it is estimated that 100 million people, of which 40 million are indigenous peoples, depend mainly on forests and natural resource goods and services. [1] Large areas of forest lands traditionally used by indigenous peoples have already been expropriated for monoculture plantations, particularly for palm oil. The promotion of biofuels – more accurately known as agrofuels – is causing massive environmental and social damage from Colombia and Brazil to Indonesia and Malaysia. Forests are being cut down and indigenous people driven off their land around the world to make way for corporate-run plantations that expropriate land and water resources. Agrofuels are being perversely promoted as a solution to climate change while the draining of peat lands and cutting down of tropical forests for their cultivation is releasing huge amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Recent studies are highlighting the social and environmental damage that agrofuels are causing around the world. [2] Friends of the Earth Indonesia / WALHI Deputy Director Farah Sofa added: “The agrofuels boom – which is being fuelled by unsustainable consumption demands in industrialised countries – is making this terrible situation much worse by fuelling deforestation, the expropriation of ancestral lands and violations of indigenous peoples’ land rights. Following the EU’s announcement this year of increased agrofuels for its transport needs, the Indonesian government has signed agreements worth billion of dollars to develop agrofuels. Forests are being cut down, indigenous peoples and forest communities driven off their land – simply to fuel cars,” she added. Reducing emissions from deforestation (RED) is a key issue on the agenda for the post 2012 period. Friends of the Earth International believes forest protection programs must uphold community rights and land rights of indigenous peoples and other local communities, prohibiting any actions that seek to exclude indigenous peoples and forest dependent communities from 'conservation' areas. Failure to prohibit such action is an endorsement of environmental racism and threatens the continuation of sophisticated cultural practices of conservation. Financial mechanisms for reducing deforestation cannot include trading of 'certificates' or credits which will create a global offset for the failure to reduce emissions in industrial and transport sectors – weakening the environmental integrity of the post 2012 agreement, the environmental campaign group said. The proposed inclusion of ‘sinks’ in carbon trading -through deforestation reduction schemes- also carries huge risks for forests and those that are dependent upon them by allowing countries and corporations to buy up forest lands to allow continued pollution at home.

Adaptation should be designed to help the world’s poorest people, and should protect ecosystems, livelihoods and human security, according to FoEI. Community-based adaptation provides the best opportunity to ensure that adaptation projects are culturally, technically and socially appropriate, and that they increase resilience to the impacts of climate change.

According to Kermal Dervis, head of the United Nations Development Programme, donors will need to provide 50 to 100 per cent more finance over and above current aid – equivalent to $50–100 billion annually – to cover the impacts of climate change. [3]



Joseph Zacune, Friends of the Earth International climate coordinator: UK
mobile number +44-7967 877 593 or Friends of the Earth press office in London +44-20 7566 1649

Stephanie Long, Friends of the Earth International climate coordinator:
Australian mobile number + 61-414 136 461

Farah Sofa, WALHI/ Friends of the Earth Indonesia Deputy Director:
Indonesian mobile number +62 811194773

Hildebrando Velez, Friends of the Earth International Climate Campaign
Coordinator: Colombian mobile number + 57 3103090866



[1] Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues Sixth session, “Oil Palm and Other Commercial Tree Plantations, Monocropping: Impacts on Indigenous Peoples’ Land Tenure and Resource Management Systems and Livelihoods.” May 2007

In the developing world, greenhouse gases emissions are mainly originated from agriculture and land use changes such as deforestation. For example, a recent report titled “Indonesia and Climate Change” and published by the World Bank and the British government, shows that deforestation puts Indonesia as the world’s third largest emitter after the US and China.
World Bank news release, “Carbon dioxide emissions on the rise”, May 2007

[2] Two key reports among the most recent reports are:

OECD Round Table on Sustainable Development: “Biofuels: Is the cure worse
than the disease.” September 2007

United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, Jean Ziegler, stated that it is a crime against humanity to divert arable land to the production of crops which are then burned for fuel. Ziegler demanded an international five-year ban on producing biofuels to combat soaring food prices. Grant Ferrett, Biofuels ‘crime against humanity’. BBC Online, 27 October 2007

Furthermore, article 4.3 of the UNFCCC commits Annex II countries to “provide new and additional resources to meet the agreed full incremental cost of implementing measures…” including “preparing for the adaptation to climate change.” In addition Article 4.4 states that Annex II countries “shall also assist the developing country Parties that are particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change in meeting costs of adaptation to those adverse effects.”