The EPN released a discussion document that estimates the climate emissions of the pulp & paper industry in Indonesia.

In Indonesia, pulp wood plantations on peatlands extend to around 1.1 million hectares – an area roughly the size of Jamaica. Their GHG emissions are estimated at 88 million tonnes of CO2 per year from peat oxidation, the equivalent of 23 coal-red power plants and more than Finland’s entire national emissions. An additional unknown but probably even larger amount is released in periodic peat fire events, such as the one in 2015, which also caused life-threatening smog and haze.

As an example, According to the same calculation, APP’s plantations emit nearly as much GHG as Norway and APRIL’s plantations more than Slovenia. The pulp and paper industry in Indonesia has extensive tree plantations on drained peatlands. After drainage, the peat oxidizes, releasing carbon in the form of CO2 into the atmosphere. Drained peatland contributes more than half of Indonesia’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, which in addition to above-ground deforestation emissions, puts Indonesia among the world’s highest GHG emitters.

The document also illustrate how, with much less money and means, local communities in Indonesia are developing methods of managing peatlands in a responsible way, re-discovering traditional practices and experimenting with new methods of paludiculture, the practice of mixed crop production on undrained or re-wetted peat soils.

However, the pulp and paper industry has not yet developed a corresponding paludiculture system at a sufficient scale to substantially reduce its GHG emissions and prevent excessive risk of fire and flooding. Urgent action is required to prevent a climate catastrophe.

The discussion document is available at: