Greenpeace says carbon offset schemes only legitimise continued pollution

Source – November 9, 2021
Image of rubbish dump with smoke stacks in background – Undated (Istemewa)

Agung Sandy Lesmana and Ria Rizki Nirmala Sari – President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo signed Presidential Regulation (Perpres) Number 98/2021 on the Economic Value of Carbon on Friday October 29. Greenpeace Indonesia forest campaign spokesperson M Iqbal Damanik says the regulation is not a solution to the climate crisis.

The presidential regulation covers the issue of carbon offset schemes or actions to negate carbon dioxide emissions produced at one location by actions to reduce emissions at another location. According to Damanik, carbon offset schemes will instead be taken advantage of by companies as a shield for their activities ranging from clearing forests to land concessions.

"Carbon offsets are only a mechanism for polluters to legitimise their pollution by using currently existing forests", said Damanik during a discussion titled "Carbon Trading: A Solution or New Problem for the Climate Crisis"", on Tuesday November 9.

In Damanik's view, the government has no desire to reduce emissions but instead wants to give the right to companies to produce emissions through carbon credits.

He also believes that carbon mechanisms or carbon offset schemes in Indonesia often gives corporations the right to pollute.

"It's like; you often cut down trees in Sumatra but take part in planting trees in Jakarta. Yeah, it's just a lie", he said.

According to the Environment and Forestry Ministry (KLHK) official website, under the presidential regulation on the Economic Value of Carbon, several different carbon trading mechanisms are regulated, namely trade between two enterprises through cap and trade schemes, counter-balancing emissions through carbon offset schemes and combinations of existing schemes.

KLHK Director General for Climate Change Control, Laksmi Dewanthi, revealed that carbon pricing could become an incentive for achieving Indonesia's nationally determined contributions (NDC) to redoing greenhouse emissions.

"It is hoped that carbon pricing will support other instruments which are also being pursued such as controlling forest fires, preventing deforestation and [land] degradation or transitional technology to create renewable energy", he said.

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "Bongkar Skema Carbon Offset, Greenpeace Sebut Cuma Untungkan Para Polluter".]