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When it comes to limiting CO2 emissions, the results are not always what you’d expect.

Debates about climate change often draw zealots on both sides. The common accusatory opener, “Do you believe in global warming?” betrays the binary, almost religious argument between those who think we’re wrecking the planet and those who don’t. Pragmatism is rare on either side.

The science of climate change is complex, and we won’t attempt to assess man’s contribution to global warming. For a thought-provoking view of the issue, read Alex Epstein’s The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels”. In one section, Epstein comments on U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s 2014 plea for Indonesia to cut carbon emissions to fight global warming. From 2006-16 Indonesia’s CO2 emissions grew by 3.1% annually, the Asian average. It’s no coincidence that in 2016 Indonesian life expectancy reached 69, up by 17 years over the previous half-century.

As in much of the developing world, Indonesians are living longer. This is because increased energy use supports cleaner water and food, improved hygiene and better medical care, staples of developed country life. Because fossil-free energy is not yet price-competitive, its adoption implies using less energy. This, in turn, means shorter life expectancy for Indonesians and citizens of other developing countries. If the science around man-made climate change was unequivocal, it would imply acceptance of briefer lives today so that subsequent generations may live longer. But the science isn’t clear, and a warmer planet may be manageable. Moreover, climate prediction models have consistently overestimated actual warming. Epstein’s book offers a rare, stimulating perspective and seizes the moral high ground assumed by the anti-fossil fuel crowd. He defines improving human life as the standard against which to test climate change policies. By this measure, greater energy use has been a success.

The BP Statistical Review of World Energy 2018 reports on emissions of carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas. It has some surprising facts.

Over the past decade, China has led the way in global CO2 emissions. BP STATISTICAL REVIEW OF WORLD ENERGY

Read more: Guess Who's Most Effective At Combating Global Warming

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The village of Gowa in the South Sulawesi province of Indonesia has an agrarian history that dates back to the fourteenth century – an agricultural prominence it still maintains, in part due to the top-grade fertile soil in the region. In fact, the area is now serving as a center for the introduction of new mutant rice varieties that owe their existence to nuclear technology. Through the combined expertise of the National Nuclear Energy Agency of Indonesia (BATAN), the Joint FAO/IAEA Division and PB Salewangang, a certified seed breeding company, 18 Gowa farmers have planted their land exclusively with six new mutant rice varieties. But these farmers aren’t growing the new varieties as a food crop. They are using BATAN’s breeder seed material in their fields for seed multiplication. Once multiplied, PB Salewangang distributes seeds to other farmers interested in planting the new varieties to take advantage of their improved yield and quality.

Read more: Mutant Rice Varieties Help Indonesia Reduce Rice Imports

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Acknowledging the importance of ramping up actions towards achieving Indonesia’s Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC), the Association of Indonesian Municipalities (APEKSI) and Yayasan ICLEI Indonesia organized a Knowledge Management Forum held at Grand Savero Hotel, Bogor City on 3-5 July 2018. The forum highlighted the importance of multi-level governance in developing plans and strategies towards climate change mitigation and adaptation.

At the event, participants discussed opportunities and challenges on vertical and horizontal integration; citing technical issues concerning planning and implementation. In terms of vertical integration, cities reiterated the need for them to be included in national and provincial processes concerning climate change; especially in formulating the GHG inventory.

Read more: Indonesian cities call for multi-level governance in addressing climate change

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