Enhancing NDC ambitions of countries with carbon-rich peatlands in the tropics – a preliminary account
The recent IPCC report confirmed that an average global temperature increase of 2oC above pre-industrial levels poses greater risks than previously believed. Limiting warming to 1.5oC can substantially lower these risks – but requires dramatic emission reductions by 2030 and carbon neutrality by around 2050. The Paris Agreement requires Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change to contribute their emission reduction target through Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs).
Southeast Asia and the Amazon are among the regions with great opportunities to transform their NDC ambitions through peatlands. Indonesia’s first NDC with emission reduction target of 29% would bring the emission level to 2,034 Mt CO2-e in 2030 from 1,334 Mt CO2-e in the base year of 2010. Meanwhile, Peru’s first NDC with emission reduction target of 20% would bring down its emission level to 298 Mt CO2-e in 2030 from 171 Mt CO2-e in the base year of 2010.
Provided the current strong policy on peatland conservation and restoration is sustained, Indonesia could further lower its emissions by 11 to 110 Mt CO2-e annually depending on how peatland fires prevention can be imposed. Since Peru has no peatland-related policy in place, the opportunity from emission avoidance of around 30% due to drainage might be missed. The only factor that sustain Peruvian peatlands is their remoteness and lack of road network.