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Indonesia pledges 29% reduction in greenhouse gases by 2030

[JAKARTA] Indonesia pledged to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 29 per cent from projected levels in 2030, adding to commitments from the US, European Union, China and other nations toward a global agreement to fight climate change.

The world's fifth-biggest emitter will step up its efforts even more, to a 41 per cent cut versus a so-called business-as- usual trajectory, if it receives technological and financial support from developed nations, the country said Thursday in a submission to the United Nations. Its pledge outlines a plan to reduce deforestation and to get at least 23 per cent of its energy from renewable sources by 2025.

"Indonesia's national commitment is encouraging and demonstrates the country's seriousness to address this complex global challenge," Nirarta Samadhi, Country Director of World Resources Institute Indonesia, said in an e-mailed statement. "The commitment to include ecosystem management and landscape restoration could considerably shrink the forested country's carbon footprint if implemented effectively."

The pledge, alongside separate commitments Thursday by Albania, Madagascar, Mongolia and Eritrea, underscores the growing momentum to reach a global UN-brokered deal to fight climate change at a summit in Paris in December, six years after a previous attempt to reach a deal broke down in Copenhagen. The UN has now gathered commitments from 44 countries and the 28- nation European Union.

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Indonesia's pledge comes at a time when forest fores in the archipelago have blanketed the region with a haze that's taken air pollution to unhealthy levels in Singapore. The burning forests coupled with land-use changes associated with palm oil plantations and other agriculture account for more than 60 per cent of Indonesia's CO2 emissions, according to World Resources Institute data.

Indonesia projects emissions to rise to almost 2.88 billion tons of carbon dioxide in 2030, from 1.8 billion tons in 2005, the country said. A 29 per cent reduction would lower that by 835 million tons, while a 41 per cent cut would slash it by 1.18 billion tons, according to Bloomberg calculations.

China, the biggest emitter, has pledged to halt the rise in its emissions by 2030, the US is promising a reduction by as much as 28 per cent in the two decades through 2025, while the EU has promised to bring emissions in 2030 40 per cent below 1990 levels.