Apr. 7th, 2011

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CLIMATE CHANGE Developing Countries Step In Where Richer Nations Fear to Tread

BANGKOK, Apr 8, 2011 (IPS) - Led by countries like Indonesia, 48 developing nations are rolling out a range of pledges to voluntarily cut their respective emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG) by 2020, the year climate scientists say the earth’s rising temperature should peak by if an environmental catastrophe is to be avoided.

Indonesian negotiators confirmed during a U.N. climate change conference here that Jakarta is prepared to cut its GHG emissions by 26 percent on its own accord. But that is not all: the world’s most populous Muslim country is prepared to increase emissions cuts to 41 percent if it receives development assistance that industrialised nations have committed to providing.

"It is a pledge that sends out an important message: Indonesia is prepared to do its share to shoulder the burden of reducing greenhouse gases," says Shalimar Vitan, economic and justice campaigns coordinator for the East Asia office of Oxfam, the British humanitarian agency. "It also is informing the citizens of the country that Indonesia is eyeing a low carbon development agenda."

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Smaller developing countries are doing their part as well, reveal experts at Climate Analytics, a think tank based in Potsdam, Germany, which runs a website monitoring emissions commitments and actions. The Maldives, Bhutan, Papua New Guinea and Costa Rica have been singled out for their ambitious pledges to slash GHG emissions significantly, reveals the Climate Action Tracker at www.climateactiontracker.org. '

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The significance of this trend has exposed a fault line at the Bangkok talks, pitting negotiators of the developing world - who represent the largest bloc as part of the 131-member Group of 77 (G77) and China - against those of the developed world.

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As it is, the total amount of GHG emissions the developed world is prepared to slash by 2020 will be between 10 to 15 percent, measured against 1990 levels. It is a figure far short of the required global emission cuts of 25 to 40 percent that has been stressed by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the Nobel Peace Prize winning body of climate scientists. MORE

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