Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Air pollution: an agenda for cleaner energy

Commemorating the earth day on 22nd of April, Minister of Environment announced a ban new cars production (here) to reduce air pollution in the big cities. It sounds sensible with the fact that population of car has been increasing over 12% per year. As a result, cars in the roads has exceeding the current carrying capacity of existing roads. Regarding to the target, this minister' proposal would be ineffective. Why?

Any minister even president can't do much in terms of stopping car production besides Indonesia is not car producer instead we assemble imported car domestically, some of them are completely build up (CBU). Let imagine that minister can persuade the companies not to sell cars to Indonesia, as soon as the companies will flee to other neighbouring countries just to find softer businesss environment' regulations. Unemployment would rise adding up to current 12,7 million jobless population (here)

Now, if you can't find any new car in the market, where do you go? 2nd hand market or maybe black market. Although the 2nd hand market gives you better price, it will be slightly higher than before. You may find good car but you have to be aware that only few of them has good quality in terms of latest technology to reduce emission. In situation where less choice available, you would end up with affordable car wether or not it has proper technology for emission reduction. Emission technology would not be your first priority to buy car. So, moratorium of car production is not really as green as it looks.

Clean energy is a global agenda, and it would not be solved only with reducing car production. Instead it should be integrated with other agenda such as providing more conservation area in the cities. It has to be put as part of spatial plan which regulate and enforce the application of emission stadard. Lastly, economic incentive such as tax reduction or tax burden would encourage or discourage people to comply.

4 comments:

Berly said...

Agree with the post. The health and productivity cost of environmental damage (especially pollution) has been neglected for too long.

On the personal side (the industrial side require both public campaign and tighter emission standard or with tradable permit) we must deal with demand and supply side.

The economic incentive to internalize the enviromental cost to personal transportation need to be complemented by avalability of reliable, clean and safe public transport. This is very crucial to induce people to switch from personal car.

metty said...

the policy sounds familiar; it's like other short-term oriented policies our indonesian officials so love to make. banning new car production may induce Indonesians' spending on motorcycle, Asia's new epidemic according to the World Health Organization recently.

besides what berly said, i fancy the idea already implemented by enrique penalosa to the city of bogota during his reign as a mayor: build a wider lane for bicycle and pedestrian. we need to go back to basic for our health sake, ladies and gents. remember what indi barend always says in her commercial: 1000 langkah setiap hari utk cegah osteoporosis! a line worth to be put into action, yet unsupported by the infrastructure.

Anonymous said...

in my opinion all these so called regulations, whether its the ban to sell new cars or the emission standard regulations, will just create market distortions... though they are VERY important when accounting how to make the environment better...

the ultimate goal should be, how to get the cars off the streets... the effects to the environment goal should then be a derivate goal, though it is the MOST important goal... but one should be convinced that if the 1st goal is achieved hence the 2nd should be satisfied...

personally, i dont like to blame anyone with the situation in which jakarta is in now... yes, the local govt has alot of wrong doings but... yes also, the citizennya have alot of wrong doings (i.e. buang sampah sembarangan)...

but until now, i cant seem to neglect the the question: why hasnt the central govt (i.e. bappenas) put this matter in their hands?? it is obvious that the local govt cant do it...

for me the solution is simple... jakarta needs a mass transportation system built.(period) if this is built with serious intention then we could hope the later generation will have a healthier jakarta to live in... for our generation, sorry to say but what we see is what we get...

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