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Environment
06-01-2016
Paris 2015 COP21-United Nations Climate Change Conference: an Indonesian Perspectives
Author : Azhari Setiawan, International Relations Postgraduate Student at University of Indonesia
After his regrettable no-show at Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Manila, Indonesian President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo attended the UN conference on climate change, COP21, in Paris last November. There were at least two reasons to support his Paris visit. First, the president was sending a strong message of solidarity and friendship to the Frenchmen who were rocked by recent acts of terrorism. Second, the president could use the meeting in Paris to explain the details of his government's measures to prevent the peat land and forests fires from recurring.

Every analysis of international cooperation must begin with the question: who wants to cooperate, and why? The conventional wisdom is that global cooperation arises out of the interests shared by all countries, to varying degrees to address the problem of climate change. Failures to cooperate, therefore, are the result of some “market failure”—for example, the failure of countries to understand their interests, or the transactional difficulties associated with assembling many nations into a cooperative solution. International institutions—such as treaties, organizations, and behavioral norms—aid cooperation by reducing those transaction costs, focusing efforts on particular solutions, creating reputational risks for failure and the like.
 
Climate Change entails Indonesia to be the role model of carbon emission reduction to show its commitment on preserving environment. Indonesia has chosen to be part of the solution. Indonesia also has interest to certain parties to have common understanding and step on facing the climate change. In my opinion, Indonesia’s capability has broader meaning than the conference itself. With or without this Climate Change Conference, Indonesia is geographicallystill in vulnerable condition toward climate change and we have bad remarks on preserving the environment from pollution according to latest data showing that Indonesia’s environment pollution level is in the same level now with United States and twice more than Germany. 
 
One of big discussions among scholars about international cooperation on climate change concerns the architecture of the cooperation. Analysts and diplomats have arrived at the conclusion that climate change is best addressed through cooperative processes that are broad in membership. Part of this understanding rests on the observation that climate change is a global problem and thus requires a global solution. Other part rests on the notion that cooperative regime are best established in broad, nondiscriminatory terms, and then deepened with experience.
 
The climate summit is considered extremely important, as it is expected to reach a new agreement binding all countries, from the developed countries that are more responsible for the current environment situation, to the emerging and developing countries that have significantly increased their emissions over the last few years. For Indonesia, what is more important about this summit is that the president can use the meeting in Paris to explain the details of his government's measures to prevent the peatland and forests fires from recurring. But only if Indonesia is transparent and accountable in addressing the problem of the fires will the world step forward to help the country combating the slash-and-burn practices, as well as illegal logging that have devoured the country's tropical forests.
 
In his speech, President Jokowi presented Indonesia’s viewpoints on climate change and what to do about it as a global solution for global problem. Reducing carbon emission can be pursued by three strategic measures, those are: first, energy preservation sector that includes diversion of fuel oil subsidy to productive sector and increasing the use of renewable energy sources to 23% of national energy consumption by 2025. Second, forests land governance sector that includes applying “one policy map”, establishing moratorium and review of permits use of peat lands and forests management-sustainable production. Third, maritime sector that includes coping with illegal fishing and establishing broad protection for marine biodiversity. These three strategic policies could be a platform for Indonesia’s effort to be the role model on preserving the environment as a global matter.
 
Large-scale “research for” not “research of” climate change and demonstration of new technologies on preserving the environment will make everything else politically easier. It will include some new strategies for engaging developing countries. Also, it will include some new improvement, innovation, and new approaches to international cooperation. We need to promote the cooperation to create a club of a small number of important countries and craft elements of serious cooperation. We also are urged to propose the technology transfer as a global commitment and global efforts to show the togetherness on overcoming numbers of environmental problems.
 
These understanding has been presented by President Jokowi in his speech emphasizing that the cooperation should reflect harmony, justice, and strategy based on national priority and capability. The cooperation should be a large-scale and long-term strategic policy but not obstruct the national development of developing countries. All parties have to commit to contribute more in mitigation and adaptation acts, especially the developed countries. ‘Environmentally friendly’ technology transfer is one of the most needed requirement for all developed countries to work together with the others. 
 
Finally, success of COP21 Climate Change Conference will require careful attention to the underlying interests and the institutions needed to follow-up. A deal that simultaneously involves the advanced industrialized countries and key developing countries must find a way to engage the latter without requiring the politically impossible task of getting them to agree to cap their emissions. Indonesia can be the “bridge-builder” and the voice of developing countries toward developed countries on preserving the global environment.



 

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