The Obama administration and Indonesia pledged support Monday for a successful climate change deal in Paris, even as the Asian nation is set to join the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, which has a history of trying to undercut such deals.
OPEC, the international oil cartel that includes Saudi Arabia, Iran, Venezuela and nine other nations, has sought to block agreements on cuts in greenhouse gas emissions during international climate talks like those being held in Paris on Nov. 30, which President Obama wants desperately to be a success.
Indonesia seems to be trying to play both sides of the street. In addition to the Paris pledge, it signed a new clean energy agreement with the U.S. to cooperate on clean energy development. At the same time, it is looking to use OPEC's market muscle to make its oil and gas industry more competitive. The country also used its visit to Washington to announce that it plans to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a free-trade deal that President Obama has been pushing to succeed along with the Paris meeting.
The country will formally become an OPEC member in December, about the same time countries are hashing out a climate deal in Paris. OPEC approved the country's petition to join last month, even though Indonesia is a net energy importer, and its oil and gas exports would be the third lowest among members, according to an Energy Department report issued earlier this month.