Remarks by Ambassador Blake at Tropical Landscapes Summit, Jakarta

Thank you and it is a pleasure to join you here today.  This panel’s composition illustrates that it takes government, business, and the international community working together to achieve sustainable development.  I believe that, together, we are making progress.

I want to focus on what more can be done to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.    How can we work together by sharing best practices or co-investing?  What are the inherent trade-offs or business risks?  I’ll offer a few thoughts, first in the palm oil sector, then on energy, then on the UNFCCC summit in Paris.

Palm Oil Sector

Indonesia’s public and private sectors have taken important steps to establish the Indonesia Palm Oil Pledge but more needs to be done.

Businesses in the pulp and paper and oil palm sectors pledged to remove deforestation from their supply chains.

Expand the Indonesia Palm Oil Pledge to include all producers.  And then let the big consuming companies and countries come together to announce they will only source from those who are producing sustainable palm oil.

Indonesia’s intention to extend its moratorium on new forest and peatland licenses is commendable.  It must now be enforced.  The One Map will be an important tool, but increased and improved law enforcement, including by addressing corruption also will be essential.

Specifically, we need continued engagement at both the central and local government levels to move forward on mapping, monitoring, and enforcement.

One key issue is traceability, which is vital to the business operations of palm and timber companies.  It’s not without cost.  But we should consider this an investment that has the potential for significant economic, environmental and social returns.

We can learn from other supply chains, such as seafood, apparel, dairy and other crops where traceability is vital to the safe handling of those products and also improves efficiency, productivity, and profitability for all of those involved.

Energy Efficiency and Transport

Solutions in energy efficiency and transport also can help a great deal in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

As Indonesia develops, you have the benefit of being able to plan for increased urbanization.

Develop a national policy to promote energy efficiency in building design to make Indonesia the leader in smart growth and green cities.  Jakarta is taking important steps, but this needs to be a nationwide effort.

The United States has made improvements in implementing fuel economy standards.  By introducing car and bus fleet efficiency goals, Indonesia, too, could reduce both greenhouse gas emissions and energy use.

Both urban planning and agricultural planning benefit from accurate geospatial data.  Accurate maps contribute to transparency, which reduces business risk and protects community land rights.  Accurate maps allow supply chain mapping.  Accurate maps can be used to protect natural resources such as tropical timber and fishing stocks.

Indonesia’s One Map initiative needs to be concluded and brought into effect to support spatial plans that balance development and conservation planning.


Indonesia has long been a leader on global climate change, a position which makes sense given Indonesia’s special role as both a country blessed with one of the largest tropical forests in the world and one uniquely at risk from the effects of climate change.  Let’s work together for a new agreement in Paris this December.

But I want to emphasize that sustainable development and combatting climate change is a shared responsibility.

The United States committed to reducing our greenhouse gas emissions 17 percent below 2005 levels by 2020 and over the past decade, we reduced our total carbon pollution more than any other nation on Earth.
Specifically, from 2005 to 2011, our emissions fell 6.9 percent.  We’ve done even better when it comes to carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from the energy sector – the single largest contributor to U.S. emissions.
In 2013, energy sector emissions were down 10% from 2005.  But we know that we can do more.  On March 31, we set a new target to reduce climate pollution 26-28% below 2005 levels by 2025.  And our economy is still growing.

The United States stands ready to partner with you.  The U.S. commitment to countering climate change in Indonesia amounts to some $500 million, and we are supporting Indonesia’s efforts to work with the private sector to do this.

Thank you.

As prepared.