The Jakarta Post
A model poses in one of the booths in in the Indonesia Climate Change expo at Jakarta Convention Center on April 14, 2016. (Antara/Sigid Kurniawan)
While Indonesia and the rest of the world are focused on tackling the global COVID-19 crisis, British Ambassador to Indonesia Owen Jenkins has urged them not to lose sight of the challenge of climate change, as well as the urgent need for international action against the environmental crisis.
The ambassador conveyed the message in a video uploaded to the British Embassy in Jakarta’s official Instagram account @ukinindonesia for this year’s anniversary of Earth Day, which falls on Wednesday.
He acknowledged efforts made by Indonesia to protect the country against the impacts of climate change, such as reducing deforestation, eliminating plastic waste and protecting oceans.
A message from Ambassador Owen Jenkins for Earth Day tomorrow 🌎🌱 - As island nations, the UK and Indonesia are threatened by rising sea levels and extreme weather events 🌊🌪 we must take precautions, grow our economy, and protect our environment at the same time ♻✅ - Next year, the UK will host COP26, the UN International conference on climate change. Along with other countries, the UK is committed to tackling climate change through reducing the emissions which are going into the atmosphere, and causing climate change ⚠️❌ - Let’s make a difference for us and for future generations, as we celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day! 👨👩👧👦🌎💚 - #EarthDay #HappyEarthDay #COP26 #YearOfClimateAction #ClimateAction
“But like every other country in the world, Indonesia remains vulnerable to the impacts of climate change,” Jenkins said in the video. “Indonesia is vulnerable to the rising of sea levels as well as to other environmental threats such as the dying of coral reefs.”
The ambassador called on the country to protect the environment while also developing its economy.
“All of the evidence shows us that we can both grow our economy and protect our environment at the same time and indeed, it's often faster and cheaper to do it that way.”
He added that delaying action on tackling climate change might cause every stakeholder to bear higher costs in the future.
The United Kingdom government has been cooperating with Indonesia in several sectors of the environment, such as sustainable timber and palm oil and renewable energy programs, as well as a green sustainable financial system.
Climate change has become the talk of the town in the UK recently, as the country has been selected to host this year’s United Nations climate summit, known as COP26, along with Italy as co-hosts. However, the conference has been postponed to 2021 due to the global coronavirus outbreak.
“I am particularly looking forward to being able to return to a partnership with our Indonesian colleagues to tackle climate change,” said Jenkins at the end of the video. (kuk)