From: Reuters
Published December 3, 2007 07:15 AM

Indonesia plants trees to offset Bali emissions

BALI, Indonesia (Reuters) - Indonesia has planted millions of trees to soak up an estimated 50,000 tons of greenhouse gases to be emitted during U.N.-led climate talks in Bali, Environment Minister Rachmat Witoelar said on Monday.

More than 10,000 politicians, officials, activists and journalists are expected to attend the December 3-14 talks on the tropical resort island. Delegates will discuss ways to widen a U.N.-led fight against global warming to all nations.

Pines, acacia, and meranti trees, a type of tropical hardwood, have been planted on about 4,500 hectares (11,000 acres) on the islands of Sumatra, Kalimantan and Java, Witoelar said.

Trees absorb carbon as they grow and those planted would eventually soak up about 900,000 tons of carbon dioxide, far more than the emissions from burning fossil fuels caused by delegates while staying in Bali and flying to and from the island, Witoelar said.

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"The government of Indonesia is dedicating the carbon stock of the trees to offset the emissions produced by the U.N. meeting," Witoelar told a news conference.

"Apart from offsetting emissions, we'd like to make this a carbon positive event," he said. Delegates from 190 countries will seek in Bali to launch talks on a new deal to replace the Kyoto Protocol, the global pact to slow global warming.

Indonesia, the host, has also introduced a car-free zone on the Nusa Dua strip where meetings are held and is encouraging delegates to walk or cycle from one venue to another to help ease emissions during the talks.

(Reporting by Adhityani Arga, editing by Alex Richardson)

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