Semarang – Professor of Environmental Sciences, Diponegoro University (UNDIP), Prof. Sudharto Prawata Hadi, MES, Ph.D, evaluated that the fiscal stimulus provided by the government in response to Covid-19 pandemic is still intended for sectors that contribute to greenhouse emissions. However fiscal stimulus has not supported a sustainable economic sector.

In international webinar initiated by Postgraduate School of Environmental Science Doctoral Program Undip with a theme “Climate Change in the Midst of Covid-19 and Job Creation Law”, Prof. Sudharto evaluated that the incentive is still intended for potential sectors which contribute to greenhouse emissions, so that it will affect Indonesia’s commitment to achievement in climate change adaptation. “Simplifying the granting of permits will stimulate the degradation of the environment and natural resources,” said Sudharto P. Hadi.

He said, the presence of Law No. 11 of 2020 concerning Job Creation was also considered to be threatening the achievement of Indonesia’s commitment to climate change adaptation. The world is currently facing a global warming phenomenon which results in climate change because the earth’s atmosphere is filled with greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide and methane, which are produced by humans.

Citing flood management in Semarang as an example of a case, Sudharto said that Semarang, which is located on the coast, is already good at dealing with floods and inundation as kinds of risks of climate change. However, it has not yet targeted the causes of flooding, namely land subsidence caused by excessive groundwater extraction and building loads.

As long as groundwater extraction has not been properly managed and development is carried out in areas that are prone to subsidence, this has not actually led to a sustainable solution. The use of polders and pumps will only reduce the risk of temporary flooding. Therefore, Sudharto suggested a better water management in Semarang.

Besides Prof. Sudharto, the International webinar which was held on Tuesday (12/1/2020) also presented Irina Safitri Zen, Associate Professor from International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM); and Director of Climate Change Adaptation, Directorate General of Climate Change Control, Ministry of Environment and Forestry (Kementerian Lingkungan Hidup dan Kehutanan), Dra. Sri Tantri Arundhati, MSc. The webinar was moderated by Head of Postgraduate School of Environmental Science Doctoral Program Undip, Dr. Hartuti Purnaweni, MPA.

Meanwhile, an environmental expert from IIUM, Irina Safitri, opened her presentation by depicting a short movie to remind us about the danger of climate change in the form of rising sea levels. The message to be conveyed is that there are many places in Southeast Asia which will be lost. She gave an example that the airport in the capital city of Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur International Airport, will later be near the sea because many lands are lower than sea levels.

Furthermore, Director of Climate Change Adaptation at the Directorate General of Climate Change Control, Tantri Arundhati, emphasized that the Indonesian government has a commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in 2030 by 29% with its own strength, or 41% with the support of strategic partners. Tantri ensured that Indonesia can make a major contribution to climate change.

These efforts can be done since Indonesia has a very rich biodiversity and a large carbon stock. She also reminded that Indonesia itself is also vulnerable to climate change, especially to the increase in sea levels, given the fact that large number of areas are located along the coast.

Tantri said that the government has included climate changes problems as target number 6 in the National Medium-Term Development Plan (Rancangan Pembangunan Jangka Menengah Nasional) 2020-2024. The commitment includes in environmental development, climate resilience, environmental risk reduction, and climate change.