- Norway and Indonesia signed a new MOU on forestry and agriculture emissions
- It follows years of controversy after Norway’s funding of political agitators in Indonesia and the US
The EU Parliament’s vote on the deforestation regulation overshadowed a new agreement struck between Norway and Indonesia, which is a partnership to support Indonesia’s overall emissions from land use, forestry and agriculture.
The signing of the agreement took place in Jakarta. Norwegian Climate Minister Espen Eide stated:
“Indonesia plays an indispensable role in our fight against climate change. Indonesia is already a global leader in reducing deforestation. This constitutes one of the largest climate mitigation results since we launched the Paris Agreement in 2015.
“Indonesia’s efforts deserve recognition and praise. I am therefore very happy to be here today and learn not only about Indonesia’s impressive results, but the efforts behind those results and their ambitious plans…”
The new memorandum of understanding establishes a joint technical committee with representatives from the two countries that will oversee all bilateral work undertaken by the two countries and a new reward system for Indonesia’s emission reductions.
This represents a significant change from Norway, which found itself embroiled in controversy because of its non-payment to Indonesia for earlier emissions reductions, and its funding of political activities in Indonesia.
As Palm Oil Monitor revealed over several years, the Norwegian government was funding lobbying programs that actively sought to undermine legal and sustainable exports of palm oil products to the United States. In addition, the programs ran afoul of US lobbying laws.
Most significantly, however, the programs overstepped their remit and directly criticised legislative proposals undertaken by the President. The agreement throws shade on the EU’s deforestation efforts in Indonesia and the region. Rather than attempting to work collaboratively with Jakarta, Brussels appears to be seeking to work unilaterally.