December 27, 2007
Although Indonesia is not bound to emissions targets under the Kyoto Protocol, the government is looking to a 30-percent cut in greenhouse gas emissions from the energy sector by 2012 in order to help address climate change. Below is the third article on climate-change mitigation and adaptation efforts.
Adianto P. Simamora, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta
The government has said that urban dwellers can cut 13 million tons of emissions per year if they are ready to shift to more eco-friendly lifestyles.
By adjusting the air conditioning to 25 degrees Celsius, using less water and purchasing more eco-friendly products, an urban dweller can save a kilogram of carbon dioxide (CO2) per day.
CO2 is the main driver of global warming, which causes climate change.
It is said that people who walk one kilometer rather than riding in a vehicle can cut greenhouse gas emissions by 222 grams.
The government's mitigation plan in the energy sector stipulates that efforts to cut emissions by individuals are the fastest way of achieving that objective, as already implemented by Japan's low-carbon society.
It says the government needs to provide incentives to people using energy-saving products as they significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
The plan says that about 75 percent of government offices must use energy-saving products by 2012.
The Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry has predicted that the country's energy sector could be emitting up to 1.2 billion tons of CO2 per year if no action is taken.
As of 2003, Indonesia emitted about 258.7 million tons of emissions, with the country still relying on fossil fuels as its primary source of energy, with only 0.2 percent of the energy mix being renewable energy.
A 2006 presidential decree on national energy said that the use of renewable energy should reach 17 percent by 2025.
It said that through diversifying its sources of energy, Indonesia could cut 17 percent of its CO2 emissions.
"If the country can increase the use of geothermal energy up to 8.4 percent, we can reduce 20 percent of greenhouse gas emissions by 2025," the decree stated.
It added that the application of carbon capture storage technology could slash emissions by up to 37 percent.
Carbon capture storage (CCS) is an approach to mitigating global warming that involves capturing carbon dioxide (CO2) from large sources, such as fossil-fuel power plants, and subsequently storing it in geological formations instead of releasing it into the atmosphere.
The International Energy Agency forecasts that energy demand and prices will continue to soar, with the world set to use 60 percent more energy by 2030 than at present.
Renewable energy sources, such as solar, wind, geothermal and biomass energy, are on the rise, with wind power being the fastest growing energy resource in the world.
However, incentives and investment in renewable energy continue to be insufficient to forge a fundamental overhaul of the energy sector.
The government said that it would map out potential renewable energy resources across the country and provide incentives for local governments to develop renewable energy.
The government's plan also stipulates tax cuts for greener technologies.