WARSAW Nov 12 Indonesia, one of the world's biggest emitters of greenhouse gases, is planning to launch a voluntary carbon trading scheme that could link to other countries if successful, a senior government official said on Tuesday.
The South East Asian nation is lining up carbon trading as one of several policies to cut its fast-growing greenhouse gas emissions, according to Dicky Edwin Hindarto, head of the carbon trade department at Indonesia's National Council on Climate Change.
"We will utilise all possibilities (to cut emissions), including markets, but we want to test it first," he told Reuters on the sidelines of the United Nations climate conference in the Polish capital.
While there is no set timetable for the voluntary market, Hindarto said Indonesia is developing voluntary emission reduction certificates that domestic carbon emitters can use to offset their emissions.
If the scheme proves successful, Indonesia could expand domestic coverage and seek to link the market with similar schemes in other countries, he said.
Indonesia has estimated it would emit 2.95 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent in 2020 without new policies.
The government has pledged to bring 2020 emissions to 26 percent below the business as usual levels, and as much as 41 percent under if it receives international funding.
The main reasons for the high emissions - only China and the United States emit more according to a World Bank and UK government report - are rapid deforestation and burning of peat lands.
Indonesia is the latest of a growing number of Asian countries to use markets to slow down rapidly growing emissions amid high economic growth.
China has launched the first of seven planned regional pilot markets ahead of a national trading scheme later in the decade.
South Korea will have a mandatory emissions market from 2015, while Thailand plans a voluntary market from the same year. Vietnam said last year it is considering a market for CO2 trading in 2018. (Reporting by Stian Reklev; editing by Alister Doyle and William Hardy)
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