Jakarta, Indonesia – ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability Indonesia and Save the Children Indonesia jointly hosted a virtual public dialogue last 6 April 2021 to discuss the role of the youth in developing sustainable and green economies against climate change. With participants from the government, private sector, and local communities, the forum also saw the identification and discussion of collaboration opportunities in mitigating climate change disasters, such as the Seroja Tropical Cyclone Disaster which battered East Nusa Tenggara Province.
Public-private cooperation for climate action and sustainable development
Arctic sea ice is melting. Sea levels are rising. Prolonged droughts, ravaging floods, and extreme wildfires are happening more frequently than before. These, among many other disasters, are evidence that climate change remains one of the biggest problems of Indonesia and the rest of the world.
Irwanda Wisnu Wardhana, a researcher at the Center for Climate Finance and Multilateral Policy, Fiscal Policy Agency (BKF), offered a way to mitigate these disasters, saying “Although this problem is extremely serious, it can be solved through concerted effort in reducing carbon dioxide emissions generated by human activities.”
Forum keynote speaker Novia Widyaningtyas S.Hut.M.Sc, Secretary of the Director General of Climate Change Control, Ministry of Environment and Forestry of the Republic of Indonesia, expounded on this, saying that all members of society are responsible for addressing climate change.
Spearheading this charge is the national government. In addition to setting Indonesia’s Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) target for reducing greenhouse gas emission to 29% by 2030, the government is currently finalizing a long-term strategy document to achieve net-zero emission by 2070.
The youth of Indonesia also have a huge role to play in helping achieve the country’s climate action targets.
As business actors, they can develop and create solutions for increasing productivity and maintaining stability, all while taking into account environmental issues. They can encourage the implementation of a circular economy system for an even more sustainable and environmentally-friendly direction towards economic growth. To this end, Saladin Islami, ICLEI Indonesia Project Officer for 100% Renewable Energy, also highlighted the need to create eco-friendly products using low-emission raw materials, implement waste management, and adopt an end-to-end green business model, including capitals and investments.
In addition to the transition to a green economy led by the youth, the effort to tackle the climate crisis should also consider digital transformation. Today’s technology-driven markets demand innovative solutions that are both socially and economically impactful.
For example, Aruna Indonesia is a business enterprise initiated by young people aiming to empower local fishermen by bringing their products to a national and global stage. Indraka Fadhillah, Aruna Co-Founder and COO, said that through implementing digital technology in their promotion of fisheries, they are also able to promote sustainable fishing and better empower fishermen. Moreover, they are able to tap the youth as local ambassadors, training them to help fishermen maintain and ensure their product quality.
Irwanda Wisnu also encouraged the youth and business startups to join associations such as HIPMI, KADIN, and APINDO. He said that joining such organizations not only helps startups thrive, but they also help startups align with existing government policies related to sustainable development.