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Clinton, Indonesia need to act on climate: environmentalists

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton shakes hands with Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono prior to their meeting at the presidential palace in Jakarta on February 19, 2009. Photo courtesy of AFP.
by Staff Writers
Jakarta (AFP) Feb 19, 2009
Top greenhouse gas emitters the United States and Indonesia should use US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's visit to the country to take action against climate change, environmentalists said Thursday.

Around a dozen members of activist group Greenpeace rallied outside the presidential palace during a meeting between Clinton and President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono to call for greater assistance for developing countries in reducing emissions.

"We call on the US leadership to handle the issue of climate change seriously and we ask developed countries like the US to provide funds to countries like Indonesia to save their forests and support their efforts to reduce emissions," Greenpeace forest campaigner Bustar Maitar said.

"With the right leadership, we can bring global greenhouse gas emissions under control, set them on a downward trajectory, and avoid the most catastrophic impacts of climate change," Greenpeace Southeast Asia director Von Hernandez said in a letter.

"As the world's second and third largest greenhouse gas emitters, the United States and Indonesia have an historic opportunity to show decisive leadership, and ensure the strong climate protection needed to foster real and sustainable economic security," he said.

Indonesia, where forest-clearing is the main cause of emissions, has been a key nation in pushing for the inclusion of credits for forest conservation into any global carbon-trading regime.

Speaking with Indonesian Foreign Minister Hassan Wirajuda Wednesday, Clinton said she "applauded" Indonesian efforts to "integrate deforestation into the broader climate negotiations."

But Greenpeace said that the United States needs to develop "concrete projects" that would pay countries to halt deforestation and promote environmentally friendly development.

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Unchecked economic growth imperils Amazon: study
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