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Indonesia may miss climate accord deadline: media

JAKARTA, Jan. 30 — Despite President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono's ambitious pledge to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the Indonesian government may fail to meet a deadline to disclose voluntary steps it will take to combat global warming, local media reported here Saturday.

Giorgio Budi Indrato, coordinator of the Civil Society Forum for Climate Justice, said that missing the deadline could tarnish the country's hard-fought green credentials, according to Saturday's report on Jakarta Globe.

"The only consequence would be embarrassment in the world's eyes because we have made it this far to build our image," Giorgio was quoted as saying by the report.

In contrast, other developing nations, including China, Brazil, South Africa and India, are likely to meet Sunday's deadline, established during the recent UN climate change talks in Copenhagen.

During last year's G-20 meeting in Pittsburgh, Yudhoyono promised to cut the country's emissions by 26 percent by 2020 and said that with international assistance, Indonesia would aim for a reduction of 41 percent.

Rachmat Witoelar, executive head of the National Council on Climate Change, said recently that Indonesia would send its notification to be a part of the Copenhagen Accord, but would deliver emission details at a later date.

"The submission deadline on the accord is a soft deadline. We'll say that we will associate with the accord, but our details will follow later," he said, adding that developing countries were not obliged to submit any details concerning their emissions cuts.

Eka Melissa, deputy chair of a council working group on international negotiations, said there were no sanctions if parties were not able to submit by Jan. 31.

"Based on the accord, developed countries are supposed to submit their targets for emissions cuts, while developing countries only have to submit their action plans for mitigation," Eka said.

"However, we have just finished meeting with the coordinating ministers and just received the national plans from Bappenas (National Development Planning Board), so it will take time to coordinate with each sector (about the details)," she said.

Eka said the council would try to meet the deadline, but still needed the approval of the cabinet before submitting the details to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

"We are also still pursuing the UNFCCC on the mechanisms of the submission, but we're serious (about the cuts)," she said. "However, we won't be giving that many details at this stage." (PNA/Xinhua)

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