In a comprehensive partnership the US and Indonesia have launched the 'Green Prosperity Project', a US$332.5 million program to promote economic development in rural parts in Indonesia.
The program will be open for proposals from businesses, NGOs and the government, for projects in the renewable energy sector.
'Indonesia has a huge potential for geothermal energy production more than any other country in the world,' said US Ambassador Scot Marciel in a public lecture at Atma Jaya University on Monday.
Marciel said that cooperation on environmental issues was an important part of US-Indonesia ties. As the world's third and fourth most populous nations, he noted, the US and Indonesia were big emitters of greenhouse gasses.
'We have to do it together. The US and Indonesia both have a big responsibility because we both are huge powers when it comes to the environment,' he said.
'This is an area where Indonesia is incredibly important globally, because this problem cannot be addressed without Indonesia,' he added.
The ambassador pointed out that the project could support Indonesia's efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
At the G20 meeting in Pittsburg, US, in 2009, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono announced that Indonesia would commit to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 26 percent, and 41 percent with international help.
The Green Prosperity Project is a program funded under the Millennium Challenge Corporation, an agency of the US government which plans to provide a total of $600 million in grants over five years for the Indonesia compact.
The compact was signed in November 2011 on the sidelines of the East Asia Summit in Bali, and came into force this month.
'You only get one chance to save the forests and the oceans,' said Marciel. ( asw )