Experts Question Truth Of Indonesia’s Claim Of Avoided Deforestation

“JAKARTA — A U.N. fund has approved a $103.8 million payment to Indonesia for preventing deforestation-based carbon emissions — its biggest payout yet, and one that critics say can’t be justified.

The Green Climate Fund (GCF) was set up in 2010 to distribute money, largely from developed countries, to developing ones to keep their forests standing. Last November Indonesia submitted a proposal claiming it had prevented deforestation that could have emitted 20.3 million tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) from 2014-2016. On Aug. 21, the GCF approved the proposal during an online meeting, making Indonesia the biggest recipient of the fund to date, and the first one outside Latin America.

But the proposal drew expressions of concern from several GCF board members, specifically over the way Indonesia had calculated its prevented emissions. Board member Hans Olav Ibrekk, who is also the energy and climate policy director at Norway’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said Indonesia’s proposal “has some characteristics that in our view affect environmental integrity of the result.””

Hans Nicholas Jong reports for Mongabay September 8, 2020.