Great green hopes for In­done­sia’s fu­ture

The China Post - - COMMENTARY -

There is hope for In­done­sia’s en­vi­ron­ment, at least ac­cord­ing to the pres­i­dent’s spe­cial en­voy on cli­mate change, Rach­mat Wi­toe­lar, who re­vealed this week the gov­ern­ment’s bid to set a higher na­tional emis­sions re­duc­tion tar­get ahead of the U.N. cli­mate change con­fer­ence in Paris at the end of the year.

No clear-cut num­ber was men­tioned, pend­ing Pres­i­dent Joko “Jokowi” Wi­dodo’s ap­proval, but Rach­mat’s re­marks raise hope that In­done­sia, along with other na­tions, can es­tab­lish a global emis­sions re­duc­tion tar­get — the ba­sis for a new legally bind­ing cli­mate change regime to re­place the ex­pired Ky­oto Pro­to­col.

If the ne­go­ti­a­tions run as ex­pected, the new pro­to­col is ex­pected to be inked in Paris and come into force in 2020, help­ing to slow down the green­house gas emis­sions blamed for warm­ing our planet.

A higher tar­get will in­crease hope for a strong com­mit­ment to avoid the neg­a­tive im­pacts of cli­mate change that will not only as­sault the world’s ecosys­tem that we share, but will also cause ever more droughts, floods, heat waves and ris­ing sea lev­els, af­fect­ing many as­pects of peo­ple’s lives, from health to eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment.

A higher tar­get would also earn our coun­try more re­spect, as when then Pres­i­dent Susilo Bam­bang Yud­hoy­ono made a pledge in 2009 to cut the coun­try’s green­house gas emis­sions by 26 per­cent at a min­i­mum and 41 per­cent with in­ter­na­tional sup­port by the year 2020.

The key to achiev­ing the goal is a shift in energy con­sump­tion. The use of fos­sil fu­els is widely blamed for a build-up of warm­ing green- house gases in the at­mos­phere.

It is en­cour­ag­ing to learn that even with­out a clear stip­u­la­tion on the roles of cities and re­gen­cies in Pres­i­den­tial Reg­u­la­tion No. 61/2011 on the na­tional ac­tion plan to re­duce green­house gas emis­sions (RAN GRK), sev­eral lo­cal­i­ties across the coun­try have stepped up their green ef­forts.

Jakarta, for in­stance, has joined more than 7,000 world cities for the an­nual Earth Hour cam­paign, in­tro­duced an in­te­grated trans­port sys­tem and built bi­cy­cle lanes.

Inspired by the Earth Hour, Ban­dung city ad­min­is­tra­tion in West Java has, since last year, re­quired gov­ern­ment of­fices and houses to switch off their power for an hour ev­ery Tues­day and Fri­day while set­ting aside space for bi­cy­cle lanes, and is cur­rently plan­ning to build an in­te­grated trans­port sys- tem to deal with the city’s chaotic and nox­ious traf­fic.

In the East Java cap­i­tal, Surabaya, the city ad­min­is­tra­tion has pro­moted lower energy con­sump­tion, such as by re­plac­ing stan­dard light bulbs in some ar­eas with so­lar­pow­ered ones.

Other re­gions have also made their own green moves by turn­ing to cleaner energy sources like so­lar, wind and hy­dro power.

Many in­di­vid­u­als have also started to con­trib­ute, from tak­ing public trans­port or cy­cling to pow­er­ing down elec­tron­ics.

Small steps add up, if we all do our bit. Now, let’s see if the gov­ern­ment, in this case Pres­i­dent Jokowi, is will­ing to do his part and turn hopes into re­al­ity. This is an ed­i­to­rial pub­lished by The Jakarta Post on Aug. 29.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Taiwan

© PressReader. All rights reserved.