WRI Reactions To INDCs of Brazil, South Africa, And Indonesia

Originally published on WRI.

WRI reaction to Brazil’s INDC:

“Brazil is playing a productive role in the global effort to fight climate change. The country is building momentum by calling at the highest level for a goal to phase out emissions from the global economy over the course of this century. This common vision for a zero-carbon world is one of the most powerful signals the Paris climate conference can send to businesses, investors and citizens.

“Brazil’s climate plan marks the first time a major developing country has committed to an absolute reduction of emissions. This is an important shift because it offers greater certainty that emissions can be cut even as Brazil’s economy expands.

“It’s encouraging to see Brazil focus on growing a low-carbon economy through continued investment in renewable energy. Brazil should rapidly shift away from high-carbon energy investment in line with the global efforts to slow global warming.

“The country’s pledge to restore 12 million hectares of forests by 2030 is notably weaker than what could be achieved. In addition, the zero illegal deforestation goal is actually a step back from the country’s previous commitments. Curbing emissions from agricultural lands will depend in part on greater investment in low-carbon practices.” – Rachel Biderman, Director, WRI Brazil

WRI’s reaction to South Africa’s INDC:

“It is encouraging that South Africa has taken to the global stage with a commitment to peak its emissions between 2020 and 2025. South Africa’s plan is the latest in an important trend of developing countries announcing when their emissions will stop climbing.

“South Africa’s target for its peak is a wide range.  To increase the chances that the world will stay below 2 degrees of warming, it will be important for South Africa to achieve the higher end of emission reductions in its plan. Cooperative efforts among countries to hasten the uptake of low-carbon technologies will help South Africa get there.

“South Africa should be commended for its innovative approach to linking the level of emissions with the need for adaptation. The country is the first to concretely highlight the inseparable link between global emissions trajectories and future climate impacts in its climate plan.” – David Waskow, International Climate Director, World Resources Institute

WRI reaction to Indonesia’s INDC:

“Indonesia’s national commitment is encouraging and demonstrates the country’s seriousness to address this complex global challenge. The government has taken positive steps in the process of developing the INDC, but can be further improved with more details to ensure the plan’s effectiveness.

“The commitment to include ecosystem management and landscape restoration could considerably shrink the forested country’s carbon footprint if implemented effectively. The bold pledge to quadruple Indonesia’s share of renewable energy within a decade would be a major achievement, though further investment in coal-fired power would undermine this vision.

“It is commendable that the Indonesian government has now included an estimated projected baseline that allows a more full and accurate estimate of emissions its target will avoid. However, ahead of the Paris climate talks, we hope Indonesia will be even more transparent so stakeholders will have even more confidence about the scale of the country’s efforts.

“On the whole, Indonesia’s climate plan is promising but more assurances are needed that the country will stay the course.” – Dr. Nirarta “Koni” Samadhi, Country Director of World Resources Institute Indonesia

Reprinted with permission.

World Resources Institute

WRI is a global research organization that spans more than 50 countries, with offices in Brazil, China, Europe, India, Indonesia, and the United States. Our more than 450 experts and staff work closely with leaders to turn big ideas into action to sustain our natural resources—the foundation of economic opportunity and human well-being. Find out more at www.wri.org

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8 years ago

Brazil already gets most of its electricity from hydro, and much of its transport fleet runs on bagasse ethanol, The zero-carbon goal is not that difficult. There is already plenty of despatchable backup for any level of wind and solar. The key problem in Brazil is forests. Deforestation is defended by powerful agricultural interests and politicians, staring with the oligarch José Sarney, the President of he Senate.

Aku Ankka
Aku Ankka
Reply to  JamesWimberley
8 years ago

I am glad you pointed this out: it is good to focus on metrics that are directly related to GHG emissions. Or at very least consider those alongside of other metrics; ratio of renewable (electricity) generation is not the only meaningful one, and in many ways not the most important one, being quite indirect.

The comparison I have found quite useful is the one that points out per-capita co2 emissions, compared to what is calculated to be safe level, globally.

One example is here:


but if anyone has a more up-to-date version, that would be much appreciated.

Anyway, it gives more perspective on amount of work different nations have. One can not assume everyone gets to same level (both due to different starting location and natural resources, need for heating etc), but at least it gives some direction.

Kevin McKinney
Kevin McKinney
8 years ago

“The bold pledge to quadruple Indonesia’s share of renewable energy within a decade would be a major achievement, though further investment in coal-fired power would undermine this vision.”

Ah, that’s a big issue, and not just in Indonesia. CT reported not long ago that global wind capacity had reached 400 GW. That’s a great milestone because that’s one stabilization wedge worth, according the original ”stabilization wedges’ strategy of about 10 years ago. And originally, 8 wedges were what was needed to reach the 2 C mitigation goal.

But the catch is that for it to count as such, 100% of the wind should displace coal. Obviously, that hasn’t happened (yet) on the global level: as we were building all that wind capacity, we were also building coal capacity. So we aren’t actually ‘ahead’ yet–that is, the Keeling curve is still rising. We just aren’t quite as far behind as we would have been had we gone with just the coal.

Reply to  Kevin McKinney
8 years ago

We need the developed world to move to a carbon fee/dividend system with tariffs on countries that don’t follow alone. And yes forest and agriculture need to be included.