Source : Jakarta Post – November 07, 2011
By Maruhum Batubara
President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono on Sept. 20, 2011, issued Presidential Regulation No. 61/ 2011 on the National Action Plan for Green House Gas Reduction, or RAN-GRK, which stipulates the targets for reducing emissions in five main fields, namely, forestry and peat land, agriculture, energy and transportation, industry and waste management, and other supporting activities.
The action plan involves various elements, including ministries/non-ministerial agencies, regional governments, communities and private enterprises.
Issuance of the presidential regulation was based on the agreement reached at the G20 Summit in Pittsburg in September 2009, the outcome of the 15th Conference of the Parties (COP-15) in Copenhagen in December 2009, and the outcome of COP-16 in Cancun, Mexico in December 2010 pertaining to reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in various sectors.
Under the regulation the 2020 target for reduction of greenhouse gas emission is set at 26 percent from business-as-usual endeavors and at 41 percent if it also includes support from the international community. How could these targets be implemented?
Indonesia currently emits 2.1 giga tons of CO2 equivalent. This comprises 0.672 giga tons of CO2 equivalent from forest fires, 0.045 giga tons of CO2 equivalent from waste dumps, 0.038 giga tons of CO2 equivalent from excessive use of energy and from transportation,0.008 giga tons of CO2 equivalent from agriculture, 0.001 giga tons of CO2 equivalent from industry and 0.048 giga tons of CO2 equivalent from waste.
The policy response to the greenhouse gas emission problem is, among others, by encouraging collaboration among the relevant parties, such as the non-ministerial institutions as the elements involved in development activities, regional governments as the vanguards of endeavors for reducing green house emission in the regions, the private sector and the general public that are at the forefront of those endeavoring to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Their collaboration is flexible in accordance with the needs and situations. At the national level, the central and regional governments, as well as private enterprises and the general public should encourage universities to formulate the necessary instruments and basic regulations for the capacity building of all those engaged in the reduction of GHG emissions.
At the regional level, the strategy of regions towards low-carbon development is to be developed in the context of the regional action plan, or RAD-GRK.
In this regard, the central government naturally coordinates with regional governments in the formulation of regional initiatives, such as in designing environment-friendly development and open green space, and in enhancing the role of the general public through the green community endeavors.
Private enterprise has a crucial role in climate change mitigation and adaptation, by providing low-carbon technology and by applying production systems that facilitate the significant reduction of GHG emission.
The RAN-GRK will be effective if the institutions involved are capable of disseminating the action plan to the general public.
The absence of communication between the government and the general public as well as the business community could be a result of inappropriate technology and communication strategies.
This was reiterated by Jeffrey Sachs, the Director of the Earth Institute of Columbia University, who said the solution to climate change is low-cost and easily applied technology and a general public able to understand the information provided.
The steps that need to be pursued in the dissemination of information on endeavors to reduce green house emission are the following.
First, at the individual level, the familiarization and dissemination to the general public needs to be conducted through mass media in order to enhance the understanding and capacity of the people, especially in regions.
The general public must be able to interpret the core and supporting activities of the entire RAN-GRK process, encompassing the action plan, activities and targets, time span, location, indicators of GHG emission reduction, and the agency responsible for ensuring an effective implementation of the process. It is expected that community action will trigger a reduction in GHG emissions.
Second, at the national level, local and national measures that are oriented to the green economy need to be promoted.
For example, there is an opportunity to utilize economic services on the environment and create new skills and employment that are environment friendly.
Communication networks are also available for disseminating information on the climate, weather, and to provide early warning of natural disasters down to the subdistrict level.
Communication networks could also be built among universities, the government and regional governments, to jointly manage climate change.
Third, at the global level, it is necessary to induce support for global action to facilitate Indonesia to realize its GHG emission target of 41 percent, of which 15 percent target is coming from the international community.
Those measures indeed are not easily implemented. Cooperation among relevant parties needs to be continuously promoted to ensure execution of the national action plan in the field.
The writer is Director of Public Relations and Executive Administration at the National Development Planning Board (Bappenas) and Vice Secretary General Secretary of the Association of Indonesian Engineers (PII).