Erwida Maulia , The Jakarta Post , Brussels | Tue, 12/15/2009 | Headlines
The European Union has expressed hope that Indonesia plays a significant role at the Copenhagen climate change summit, particularly by bridging the gap between developed and developing countries.
European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said that given Indonesia’s “ambitious” target to reduce its emissions by 26 percent by 2020 and President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s role in saving the Bali Climate Change Summit from failing at the last minute, Indonesia could play a significant role at Copenhagen.
“Indonesia’s role can be extremely important. It bridges between developing and developed countries; that we have a common problem that needs a united solution,” Barroso said.
“The role of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono can be significant. If the European Union and Indonesia are united, we can significantly contribute to success in Copenhagen.”
Responding, Yudhoyono said he appreciated the EU’s commitment to reduce its emissions by 20 percent by 2020. He said Indonesia’s 26 percent emission-cut target also aimed at triggering other developing countries to help curb climate change.
“Developed countries must take the lead, and developing countries must commit to concrete action plans,” Yudhoyono said.
Barroso said that the 27-member state European Union recently agreed on financing issues, reiterating the region’s commitment to provide financial support to developing countries to help tackle climate change.
Besides discussing the potential Copenhagen climate change conference, the two leaders also discussed the bilateral relationship between Indonesia and the EU. Barroso said the bilateral relationship had been solid over the past few years, and there was potential for further growth.
The ban for Indonesian airlines to enter Europe was also discussed. Yudhoyono said he appreciated the European Commission’s decision to lift the ban on four Indonesian airlines, including national flag-carrier Garuda Indonesia, to travel to Europe. He added that he expected the ban would be lifted for all Indonesian airlines intending to enter the European zone.
Barroso said in response that the European Commission could not interfere with its experts’ assessment concerning banned Indonesian airplanes entering European sky.
He said he acknowledged the progress Indonesia had made concerning aviation safety, adding that bans on its other carriers were “based on technical grounds”.
The two leaders also discussed issues such as trade, investment and education. Barroso said two-way trade between Indonesia and the EU had reached ¤20 billion euros year, and the EU had earmarked ¤200 million for education cooperation in Indonesia for the 2007-2015 period.