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RI, UK in similar boat with climate change: DNPI

Published on 24 February 2014 Indonesia

The President’s special envoy on climate change, Rachmat Witoelar, who is also the National Council on Climate Change (DNPI) executive chairman, says Indonesia and the United Kingdom have similar susceptibility to the impacts of climate change.

“Indonesia is very prone to climate change and so is the UK,” Rachmat said in Jakarta on Thursday as quoted by Antara news agency.

He was speaking at the fourth Indonesia Climate Change Center (ICCC) Coffee Morning, themed “The UK Green Experience – Climate Change Act, Green Investment, Energy Reform” presented by Sir David King, the UK foreign secretary’s special representative for climate change.

Rachmat said Indonesia could hopefully learn lessons from the UK’s experience in dealing with climate change impacts, such as the flooding currently affecting several regions in the country.

King focused his presentation on both organizational and policy developments, including science-based policy, as well as the involvement of policy makers in low carbon development.

King said flooding, which was caused by the overflowing of the Thames River, was currently affecting some areas in the UK and this was a real consequence of climate change.

“Flooding is one of the worst threats in the UK posed by climate change and we can feel it in a very real way,” he said.

On Feb.11, 2014, the Thames River burst its banks, forcing UK authorities to issue 14 flood warnings in London and surrounding areas. Among areas in London affected by the flooding were Berkshire, Surrey and Somerset.

The flooding has caused power outages, which according to the UK Energy Network Association, had affected 1 million buildings in London during the peak of the flood season last week.

Meanwhile, according to the BBC’s latest report, on Sunday at least 30,000 were still without power.

Flooding devastated several regions in Indonesia in January this year, especially in the northern part of Java. Jakarta has also been affected by severe floods, with Jakarta Governor Joko “Jokowi” Widodo only revoking the city’s flood alert status on Feb.12. Besides areas in Java, flash floods also affected Manado, North Sulawesi, on Jan.15.

Source: The Jakarta Post | 20 February 2014