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Engaging with the world's third largest greenhouse gas emitter

Joe Leitmann's picture

You may be surprised to know that Indonesia has emerged as the world's third largest emitter of carbon, following the U.S. and China.  This is primarily because of land-based emissions from peatland degradation, forest fires and deforestation, complemented by some of the fastest growing energy-based emissions.  In addition, as an archipelago of 17,000 islands and a significant agricultural population, its coastal urban population and farming-dependent rural economy are highly vulnerable to climate change.

For these reasons, the World Bank has been actively supporting a range of partnerships on mitigation and adaptation, including:

  • supporting the multi-stakeholder Indonesia Forest Carbon Alliance to position the country as a world leader on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD)
  • preparing inputs for a low carbon growth study to identify climate-friendly paths to economic development
  • developing a portfolio of clean development mechanisms (CDM) projects, including geothermal energy, industrial energy efficiency and landfill gas utilization
  • raising awareness about the country's greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and climate change vulnerability
  • working with donors to promote coordinated support and dialogue on climate issues with the Indonesian government

(Find a summary of some of this work here).

The Bank's agenda was developed with Indonesian and international partners in 2007 and benefited from a good deal of momentum around the Bali Climate Change Conference.  The Bank has worked with the Ministries of Environment, Forestry and Finance as well as the National Development Planning Agency.  Internationally, the Bank has collaborated with AusAID, DfID, The Netherlands, GTZ, CSIRO, CIFOR, ICRAF, GEF, etc.

At the same time, in my opinion, there are strong countervailing forces:

  • up to $20 billlion and a third of the Government's budget this year will be spent on fuel and electricity subsidies that result in increased emissions;
  • growing energy demand is going to be met primarily by a crash 10,000 MW coal-fired power program;
  • the drivers of deforestation persist;
  • and there is not yet a clear institutional focal point or champion for action on climate change. 

Thus, we face an uphill battle that can only be won by a national political and economic consensus on how to proceed with economic development that incorporates the effects of climate change and pursues the benefits of protecting global public goods.

Your thoughts on the following questions would be of great help:

- How can we maintain the public and governmental momentum on climate change post-Bali?
- What win-win opportunities exist for low carbon growth in Indonesia?
- Which are the best models of government coordination on adaptation and mitigation in other countries?
- How can powerful but unconventional partners be brought into the climate change debate?
- Are there effective examples of donor coordination at the country level to support national climate change programs?

Comments

Submitted by Anonymous on
You said: "Your thoughts on the following questions would be of great help: - How can we maintain the public and governmental momentum on climate change post-Bali? - What win-win opportunities exist for low carbon growth in Indonesia? - Which are the best models of government coordination on adaptation and mitigation in other countries? - How can powerful but unconventional partners be brought into the climate change debate? - Are there effective examples of donor coordination at the country level to support national climate change programs?" OPINION: 1. To maintain the post-conference momentum, the public needs to know what kind of benefits they can get from the project or taking part. They might need to harvest a little fruits before they can have long term constant momentum. The government needs to be guided and monitored while using the public --or donated, or allocated-- funds so that the results would be optimized and not end in the pockets of the governors. Corruption is happening everywhere. The difference is the degree. We can minimize it by helping them to overcome their hindrance to growth. Maybe. 2.Win-win situation is always possible but it depends on how much each party is willing to compromise and what are the long term benefits they can see. Solar energy is good but costly. Is there a way we can tackle this? 3. Best model would probably be the successful stories involving sustainable development projects e.g. in China. 4. Too many opinions will ruin a project; too few might not provide wide enough perspective sometimes. Just invite those we would like to and engage them in interesting discussion that they are concerned about and link with our topics. 5. Successful donor coordination example: .......... are there any countries that are actively involved in reforestration? thanks

Hi Joe, First of all, a big vote of thanks are due to you, and to your colleagues in Jakarta and Washington DC for working with us to develop Landfill Gas Flaring projects in Bekasi and Pontinak in partnership with the respective municipal governments. The Public Private Partnership is designed to help The World Banks' mission as to help local government with improving waste management problems using IBRD's vast knowledge and expertise in Urban Development Programs and Solid Waste Management. Your carbon finace unit who pioneered the Carbon Offset market is managing the projects through UNFCCC registration process. As a private enterprise, Gikoko is utilizing its technical and manufacturing expertize to construct the landfill gas flares systems to reduce stock of Green House Gas being added to atmospher to cause global warming tha consequently causes Climate Change. We move quickly because for us this is business and time is money. We have also made committment to help the very poor who make a living as scavengers in landfills, risking health and accidental contacts with heavy equipments. More municipal governments in Indonesia are inviting Gikoko to implement projects in their landfills. We discussed the strategy for future directions with your collegues from Sustainable Development Environment Team and the top manager of Carbon Finance Unit during Bali CoP in a breakfast meeting and they both wanted to see more projects quickly replicated in order to achieve scale up of positive social and environmental impacts. The World Bank Group has International Finance Corporation, IFC, to work with the private sector. You kindly introduced me to their Director of Environmental and Social Development Department,Rachel Kyte in Bali. Their involvement in monetizing the carbon offset revenue contracts to make loans would enable us to achieve these goals to mitigate against Climate Change, improve waste management and help to improve living standards for the very poor.

Many thanks, Joe. We greatly value our partnership with Gikoko and view the engagement on landfill gas as a triple win situation -- reduction of carbon emissions, improvement of the lives of scavengers and enhanced municipal service delivery. Keep up the good work!

Thanks for these general suggestions. Any Indonesia-specific advice would also be appreciated. On donor coordination, it is possible and happening on the ground in the areas of environment, education and post-disaster reconstruction here in Indonesia. We think, though, that there is far greater potential for reducing emissions by avoiding deforestation and peatland degradation than via the highly-constrained CDM definition of reforestation or afforestation.

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