Jayanty Nada Shofa, Jakarta – The UK recently announced that it would provide #9 million or about $10.8 million in grants to help propel Indonesia's shift towards low-carbon transport as the Southeast Asian country undergoes robust urbanization.
The UK's #9 million grant is part of the newly launched Future Cities: UK-Indonesia Low Carbon Partnership.
The money will go into funding the capacity-building of five transport-related projects over the next three years in selected metropolitan areas, including the highly populous and polluted Jakarta.
Under this program, the UK will assist policy development, project delivery, as well as stakeholder consultations at national and sub-national levels.
"Our projects will hopefully result in improved coordination between national and subnational transport planning. [As well as] enhanced capacity in subnational governments to design and prioritize emission reduction in transport planning and better leveraging of green finance, [and so on]," British Ambassador to Indonesia Owen Jenkins said in Jakarta on Tuesday.
The transport sector is a major source of emissions. The International Council on Clean Transportation estimates approximately 25 percent of the global carbon dioxide emissions come from the transport sector.
This figure can even reach up to almost 30 percent in Indonesia where cities are urbanizing rapidly, according to Jenkins.
"By 2045, nearly three-quarters of Indonesia's citizens will live in urbanized areas. Without intervention to curb emissions, their quality of life will be degraded by air pollution. This is why the UK and Indonesia's Transport Ministry have committed to working together on low-carbon transport, along with other donors and ministries," Jenkins said.
The envoy added that low-carbon transport could provide a wide range of benefits, including giving urban residents more access to transport.
Additionally, low-carbon transport slashes air pollution and thus making it a massive boon for public health. It can drive the economy by generating high-quality jobs.
"[Low-carbon transport] is good for the shared fight against climate change, which both Indonesia and the UK are committed to," Jenkins told the press.
The Future Cities program encompasses five projects, one of which focuses on clean mobility for metropolitan Jakarta.
There is also a Buro Happold-led project that seeks to unlock opportunities for light rail, transit-oriented development, and land value capture in Greater Semarang.
Other projects include driving an inclusive transport decarbonization in Indonesia, and participatory planning involving vulnerable groups.
Last but not least is enhancing sustainable urban mobility of coastal metropolitan Makassar and Surabaya, which are vulnerable to sea-level rise and flooding.
The Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP) became the implementing partner for the clean mobility program in Jakarta.
The non-profit organization will work closely with the Greater Jakarta Transportation Agency (BPTJ) and the provincial government.
Jakarta is in pursuit of increasing its share of public transport to 60 percent by 2030.
To this end, ITDP will work on drawing up an action plan to integrate the public transportation development in the Greater Jakarta area under the UK-funded Future Cities program.
"This includes integration of tariffs and information systems, to name a few. We will also try to design an electrification roadmap for the intercity public transportation in Greater Jakarta," ITDP senior transport officer Mizandaru Wicaksono said.
"We will work on a roadmap for low-emission zones in Jakarta, and also evaluate the pilot program of Jakarta's bus electrification," he added.
Future Cities is part of the UK Partnership for Accelerated Climate Transition (UK PACT), the British government's flagship program that aims to boost its partner countries' clean growth transition.
The launch of Future Cities also followed the signing of a memorandum of understanding between Transport Minister Budi Karya Sumadi and his British counterpart Wendy Morton last month.