The United Kingdom has granted Indonesia 13 million pounds (US$16.3 million) to finance a plan to involve provincial administrations in developing renewable energy across the nation.
The grant will finance the Indonesian government’s Low Carbon Development Initiative (LCDI) to improve efforts to reduce carbon emissions and help the country reap the benefits of renewable energy.
The initiative will help provincial administrations formulate plans on renewable energy through technical support, such as policy planning assistance and funding.
National Development Planning Minister Bambang Brodjonegoro said on Tuesday that, so far, only Central Java, West Java and South Sulawesi had joined the initiative.
“The next step is to encourage more provincial administrations to join,” Bambang said after signing a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on UK-Indonesian cooperation on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the LCDI with UK Ambassador to Indonesia Moazzam Malik.
Under the agreement, the two governments will cooperate on several things, such as increasing agricultural productivity, reducing deforestation, improving sustainable energy and lowering pollution.
Bambang expressed appreciation for the UK government’s commitment to improve cooperation between the two countries. He stressed that the cooperation would be helpful for the government’s campaign on environmental programs at the provincial level, as it would boost economic growth.
“The initiatives are our effort to boost economic growth while at the same time [preventing] environmental degradation,” Bambang said at the Bappenas office.
Later in the afternoon, Bambang and West Papua Governor Dominggus Mandacan signed an MoU on LCDI with the province aimed to lower carbon emissions by 15 percent against the emission baseline in 2020.
The government issued its inaugural LCDI study in March, which states that the country could reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by about 43 percent by 2030, while still growing its gross domestic product by 6 percent per year until 2045.
Meanwhile, Malik called Indonesia’s role in the SDGs and lowering carbon emissions crucial, saying that, while Indonesia was the world’s 17th largest economy, it was the fifth-largest emitter of greenhouse gases.
“Should [the government] fail to control emissions, [it is] not only dangerous to the people, as the country is prone to climate change and disasters, but also [dangerous] to the world,” he said in Indonesian.
In February, the UK provided a grant of $19.5 million to the Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry to accelerate the development of low-carbon energy, with pilot projects focused on eastern Indonesia.
Renewable energy, as of 2018, contributed only 12 percent to the total national electricity supply.
Other than that, the UK would focus on future cities program, with UK Embassy officials to help big cities of Indonesia solve problems through renewable energy.
“We started with Bandung and Surabaya [on the future cities program], as we put our colleagues in both cities and we’re discussing with them to see how we can help,” Malik said.
Source: The Jakarta Post, 19 June 2019