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US pledges 136 million dollars to the environment in Indonesia

The US has pledged $136 million to environment and climate change initiatives in Indonesia over the next three years reports Reuters. Earlier in the year, Norway pledged over seven times the US amount (one billion US dollars) to fight deforestation in the Southeast Asian country.

In a press release the Obama Administration said that the funds were a direct response to Indonesia’s pledge to cut greenhouse gas emission by 41 percent by 2020 if the nation receives international funds.

Over 87 percent of the funds will go to the SOLUSI partnership, which stands for Science, Oceans, Land Use, Society, and Innovation, while $7 million will match a pledge by Norway to establish a Climate Change Center in Indonesia, which will focus first on emissions from peatland destruction.

Indonesia has the third highest greenhouse gas emissions in the world after China and the US. Yet unlike these economic juggernauts, Indonesia’s emissions are largely produced from the destruction of its tropical forests and peatlands.

Berry Nahdian Forqan, direct of the local NGO Indonesian Forum for the Environment (Walhi), told the Jakarta Post that the money should not be considered aid, but a part of US ‘climate debt’ toward Indonesia. According to Forqan, it is the US’ “responsibility to directly pay its ecological debts it had been piling up as the world’s largest polluter and [a developed country] that had taken resources from developing countries.”

The US is also pledging $165 million to higher education in Indonesia.

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