Presidential debate fails to mention climate change impacts: Walhi

Presidential debate fails to mention climate change impacts: Walhi

The incumbent presidential candidate Joko Widodo (first left), Head of General Elections Commission (KPU) Arief Budiman (center), and the challenger Prabowo Subianto at the second presidential debate in Hotel Sultan Jakarta, on Sunday, Feb 17, 2019. (ANTARA FOTO/Akbar Nugroho Gumay/pras)

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The Indonesian Environmental Forum (Walhi) has expressed disappointment with Indonesia`s presidential candidates for failing to mention the climate change impacts and forest issue during the second round of the presidential election debate on Sunday evening.

"It is a bit awful because climate change impacts and forest issues were not mentioned," Yuyun Harmono, campaign manager for climate justice of Walhi, said here on Monday.

The climate change is in fact an issue that covers every aspect, he stated. It is quite scary, from the climate change context, to learn about the optimism of both candidates over oil palm plantation, he noted.

Oil palm plantation and coal mining activities are both major contributors to emission, he remarked.

If the two candidates still rely on oil palm and coal, it means they do not see the point of climate change, he added.

They fail to link the economic policy and efforts to control the impacts of climate change, he revealed.

"What worries me is that the Environmental Affairs and Forestry Minister has asked the Director General for Climate Change Control to review our Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC), in order to speed up the target to press the Earth`s temperature increase below 1.5 degree Celsius from 2020 to 2019," he explained.

The ministry has prepared measures for cutting emissions by accelerating mitigation efforts, he noted.

The ministry has realized that the major contributors to emission are plantation and energy-based factors, he elaborated.

However, he regretted that the two candidates failed to consider the crucial issue.

"No one related their economic policy to climate change issue. This is worrying," he stated.

Incumbent Joko Widodo and rival Prabowo Subianto faced off during the second round of the presidential election debate themed ?energy, the environment, infrastructure, food, and natural resources,? on Sunday evening (Feb 17).

Indonesia will hold the simultaneous legislative and presidential elections on April 17, 2019.

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Reporting by Virna PS, fardah

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