Indonesia ratifies Paris climate change plan

Geothermal Indonesia

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — Indonesia's parliament ratified the Paris climate change agreement on Wednesday, obligating one of the world's biggest polluters to limit its carbon emissions.

All 10 political parties in Indonesia's parliament endorsed the agreement, paving the way for it to become part of the country's laws.

The deal aims to curb the emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases to keep global temperature increases to less than 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit).

Indonesia is a major coal producer and is cutting down its tropical forests for palm oil and pulp wood plantations. Annual dry-season fires that are illegally started to clear land for plantations also release vast amounts of greenhouse gases, particularly when they burn peatlands that store large amounts of carbon.

A study in the journal Nature Climate Change estimated that Indonesia was clearing 840,000 hectares (2.1 million acres) of forests a year by 2012, more than any other country. In 2014, it renewed a moratorium on new licenses for logging in virgin forests, but deforestation has continued largely unabated.

Indonesia signed the Paris agreement on April 22 in New York. The deal comes into effect on Nov. 4 after the threshold of ratification by 55 countries representing at least 55 percent of global emissions was passed early this month.

There was a global push to get as many countries as possible to ratify by early October so that the agreement would enter into force before the next U.N. climate conference, scheduled for next month in Morocco.

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