Indonesia is ramping up efforts ahead of the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26), with more people perceiving the climate crisis to be more important and environmentalists recommending continuous improvements.
The climate conference will start in Glasgow, Scotland on Sunday and run until Nov. 12, after a year-long delay due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Indonesian delegates will embark on a mission to show that the country is serious about mitigating and adapting to climate change and to look for ways to obtain climate financing for the country, according to Environment and Forestry Minister Siti Nurbaya Bakar. The delegates are officials from various ministries and agencies, as well as non-party stakeholders of the COP26 such as businesses and civil groups. President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo is slated to join the COP26 World Leaders Summit from Nov. 1 to 2, after attending the G20 Summit in Italy from Oct. 30 to 31.
Ahead of the conference, Indonesia has updated its Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) document, which now stipulates that the country will reduce emissions by 41 percent by 2030 with international assistance. And a large chunk of emissions reduction is now expected to come from the forestry and land use sector by 2030, at 24.5 percent.
“The government has prepared steps to reduce carbon emissions from the forestry sector through various incentives. Meanwhile, the energy sector would also have its own decarbonization plan,” Siti said on Saturday after briefing delegates to COP26.
In its updated Long-Term Strategy (LTS) document, Indonesia is aiming to reach net zero emissions by 2060, or sooner with international assistance.
Indonesian officials expect COP26 will agree on provisions on carbon emissions trading under Article 6 of the Paris Agreement, which is one of the articles left unresolved to date.
Siti said the delegates were well prepared to negotiate and push discussions on Article 6, and that in the event the COP26 parties could finally agree on this issue, Indonesia had been preparing its own carbon trading regulation.
This includes a presidential regulation on carbon economic value, which is currently being drafted by the environment ministry and a carbon tax introduced in the newly enacted Harmonized Tax Law. The tax, which sets a minimum rate of Rp 30,000 (US$2.10) per metric ton of carbon dioxide equivalent, will come into force in April 2022.
The road to COP26 came amid growing awareness of climate change among Indonesian youth, with young voters wanting the government to do more to address climate change, a recent survey by pollster Indikator Politik Indonesia found.
Indikator polled some 3,200 eligible voters aged 17 to 26 — who are members of Generation Z — and some 800 millennials aged 27 to 35 in mid-September and found that 85 percent of Generation Z respondents and 79 percent of millennials were well aware of the climate change issues.
“The younger a voter is, the more they are aware of climate change issues, unlike baby boomers [people aged around 56 to 74] who might not care much about these issues,” Indikator director Burhanuddin Muhtadi said.
Respondents said they now felt more intense effects of climate change compared to five years ago. Some 63 percent of the respondents noticed increasingly hot weather in areas they lived, about 60 percent felt more sudden changes in the weather, and 35 percent believed that heavy rain and flooding had grown in intensity.
A majority of respondents, 81 percent, said protecting the environment was a must even though it meant slowing down economic growth, while only 15 percent said otherwise and the remaining 4 percent either did not know or refused to answer.
A coalition of civil groups called the Climate Crisis Care Group, meanwhile, demands the government use the momentum of COP26 to take concrete steps to reduce emissions and that the pandemic economic recovery must include stimulus to the green economy.
“We should make use of this opportunity to move toward low carbon development and investment,” Chenny Wongkar of the Indonesian Center for Environmental Law (ICEL), a coalition member, said on Wednesday.
She said Indonesia, as an archipelagic country that was vulnerable to the effects of climate change, should do more than what had been stipulated in the updated NDC. The government, she said, should also try to reach a net-zero emission target before 2060, particularly because the National Development Planning Board’s (Bappenas) projections found that it was achievable as early as 2045.
But to reach its climate ambition, Indonesia needed to improve its funding for green projects and investments, said Brurce Mecca of Climate Policy Initiative, who proposed simultaneous ways to increase green budgets: conventionally through the state budget and through private investment.
“To attract private investment, we need a policy ecosystem that incentivizes green projects,” Brurce said.
He also said Indonesia still needed climate financing from developed countries, so diplomacy, especially during COP26, would be crucial to negotiate funding from wealthier nations, which had previously pledged to help developing countries with climate financing of up to $100 billion.
Aqil, A. Muh. Ibnu. “Climate Groups Want Concrete Action as Jokowi Heads to Glasgow.” https://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2021/10/28/climate-groups-want-concrete-action-as-jokowi-heads-to-glasgow.html. accessed October 29,2021.