JAKARTADAILY.ID - The efforts of the Indonesian G20 Presidency in promoting a sustainable global economic recovery were among the things conveyed by the Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs Airlangga Hartarto in his meeting with UK COP26 President Alok Sharma on Wednesday, February 16, 2022. The British Ambassador to Indonesia and Timor Leste, Owen Jenkins, and UK COP26 Envoy John Murton also attended the meeting.
During the meeting, various strategic issues that became the concern of both parties were discussed, including the synergy of COP26 with the G20, of which Indonesia currently assumes the presidency, global efforts and steps towards net-zero emissions, and energy transition and cooperation in the context of Indonesia-UK bilateral relations.
Furthermore, the Indonesian government also appreciates the series of processes, activities and outcomes resulting from the Forest, Agriculture and Commodity Trade (FACT) Dialogue led by Indonesia and the UK as co-chairs during 2021. As a dialogue process within a multilateral framework and has been followed by more than 28 countries, the UK as the initiator of the dialogue will follow up on the FACT Dialogue agreement as summarized in the Roadmap for Actions document launched during COP26 in Glasgow, November 2021. In this regard, the Indonesian government is currently reviewing the results of the FACT Dialogue as well as the future participation format.
From the aspect of bilateral cooperation with the UK, Coordinating Minister Airlangga Hartarto hopes that the plan to implement sustainability standards for several agricultural, plantation and forestry commodities that the UK is currently undertaking will not hinder and become a barrier to bilateral trade between the two countries. All countries need to promote mutually beneficial cooperation for economic recovery.
Regarding the follow-up to the results of the COP26 Conference in Glasgow that resulted in the Glasgow Climate Pact, Alok Sharma stated that his side is committed to implementing the agreement with all stakeholders, including COP President-Designate of Egypt and the German G7 Presidency. Together with the G20 Presidency of Indonesia, it is believed that synergy will be achieved in various sectors and issues in the context of dealing with climate change and reducing greenhouse gas emissions globally. For this reason, his side is ready to support Indonesia in implementing the Glasgow agreement in line with the presidency at the G20.
On that occasion, Coordinating Minister Airlangga conveyed the priority of the present G20 presidency, which is focused on Global Health Architecture, Digital Economy Transformation as well as another agenda particularly closely linked to the COP26 agreement, namely the Energy Transition to reduce carbon emissions. The Indonesian G20 Presidency views the importance of taking concrete steps together in these three priority areas to achieve a sustainable global recovery.
In the health sector, an important aspect promoted by the Indonesian Presidency is a global and inclusive response in overcoming the COVID-19 pandemic, especially concerning the affordability and accessibility of vaccines and strengthening the global health architecture. Regarding digital transformation efforts, it is known that the pandemic has accelerated the use of digital technology in all economic and social sectors. Therefore, it is important to ensure the availability of digital infrastructure or hardware such as fiber optic networks to assure the affordability and accessibility of various digital platforms. In this regard, Coordinating Minister Airlangga gave an example of the Pre-Employment Card, which has been distributed to 11 million Indonesians as a benchmark of a digital mechanism for skilling, reskilling and upskilling as well as semi-social assistance for people affected by the pandemic.
Regarding energy transition efforts, it was emphasized that Indonesia is currently reviewing the appropriate financing mechanism to realize this transformative step. This, of course, needs to be accompanied by efforts to encourage investment in renewable energy, which is currently being developed in various regions in Indonesia (such as hydropower and solar), including carbon capture and storage technology, all of which require a large amount of financing.
In line with the Glasgow Climate Pact, Indonesia has also launched an innovative financing scheme to accelerate the closure of coal-based power plants, in collaboration with ADB through the Energy Transition Mechanism and the use of ammonia gas for power generation. For this reason, innovative financing solutions and schemes and international support are urgently needed. In this case, Coordinating Minister Airlangga again conveyed the focus of the Indonesian government in terms of matters pertaining to electrical power, namely affordability of technology, availability of technology, and commitment to implementation.
The Indonesian government also emphasizes the importance of leading by example, in which it is necessary to encourage prototype models that can be replicated in the future. For example, Indonesia's participation in the digital Hannover Messe Industry exhibition echoed the country's Industry 4.0 steps globally and was then followed by various private and government parties in multiple countries.
At the end of the meeting, Coordinating Minister Airlangga emphasized the need to align the G20 Presidency with the results and follow-up to the COP26 agreement while stressing the importance of determining low-hanging fruits or early harvests that can be achieved immediately. Bilaterally, it was again underlined the importance of aligning Indonesia's timber certification system, the Timber Legality Verification System (SVLK), with the Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) system in collaboration with Indonesia, the UK and the EU. In addition, both parties need to coordinate the Indonesian Sustainable Palm Oil (ISPO) standards acknowledged by Indonesia with the RSPO certification recognized by Europe. Both parties agreed to synergize several international agendas that will be implemented this year that require attendance at the highest level, namely the G20 Summit in Bali (15-16 November 2022), the ASEAN Summit in Cambodia (12-13 November 2022), and the APEC Meeting Summit (19 -20 November 2022).
Also present at the meeting were the Deputy Minister of Environment and Forestry, the Deputy for Coordination of Food and Agribusiness, and the Deputy for Coordination of International Economic Cooperation at the Coordinating Ministry for the Economy of the Republic of Indonesia.
The article was translated from Pikiran-Rakyat.com's article titled "Bertemu Presiden COP26 UK, Menko Airlangga Bahas Isu Strategis Pemulihan Ekonomi Global yang Berkelanjutan".