The European Union has spent half of its total grant designated to environmental projects in Indonesia aimed at reducing carbon emissions, according to Julian Wilson Head of EU Delegation to Indonesia.
“Actually, half of the 500 million euro ($612. million) grant that came from European Union member states in 2010 has been used for environmental purposes. So, it is quite a big area of cooperation between EU and Indonesia,” he said at the launch of Blue Book 2012 Report on EU-Indonesia Development Cooperation in Jakarta on Thursday.
President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono pledged to cut carbon emissions in Indonesia by 26 percent by 2020, with the possibility of further reducing emissions by up to 41 percent if the country received international support, prompting the EU to engage in a joint commitment with Indonesia.
The EU has accordingly stepped up its climate change cooperation efforts over the past years to work towards the common targets.
In 2010, eight European countries (France, Germany, the UK, Denmark, the Netherlands, Sweden, Spain and Finland) and the EU allocated over 291 million euros for cooperation programs aimed at supporting environmental issues in Indonesia.
Further, in 2011, the EU and Indonesia conducted several negotiations on environmental issues by creating the Voluntary Partnership
Agreement on Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT).
The voluntary agreement was aimed at contributing to sustainable forest management by addressing issues such as illegal logging and enabling the access of legally harvested timber products to European markets.
In response to comments that expenditure on environment provided no returns, Julian said low carbon investment would benefit Indonesia in the long run.
“With the best timber resources in the world, Indonesia can reap benefits in many ways,” he said.