Peer-reviewed Article
Governing sustainable low-carbon transport in Indonesia: An assessment of provincial transport plans
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Governing sustainable low-carbon transport in Indonesia: An assessment of provincial transport plans

In Natural Resources Forum 39 2015-03

Over the past three years, Indonesia has tasked provincial governments with defining sub-national actions to help implement the nationally appropriate mitigation action (NAMA) it pledged to the United Nations Framework Convention (UNFCCC) in 2009. This paper assesses provincial plans in Indonesia's Sustainable Urban Transport Initiative (SUTI) — a set of transport plans that developed in parallel to its NAMA — focusing on three key questions distilled from sustainable low carbon transport and multi-level governance literature. The questions seek to shed light into whether provincial governments: (1) prioritize actions that avoid unnecessary travel and shift passengers to more efficient modes; (2) carefully consider funding and costs estimates; and (3) clearly define institutional roles and responsibilities. The assessment suggests that most provincial governments prioritize measures designed to improve vehicle efficiencies and shift to more efficient modes (rather than avoid and shift). Furthermore, there is little evidence of due diligence being performed in relation to estimating costs and seeking creative financing. Lastly, observations point toward low levels of cross-agency collaboration and weakly defined institutional responsibilities at sub-provincial levels. The results imply that Indonesia may encounter some of the same problems confronting developed countries such as the United Kingdom as they translate national climate targets into local transport actions. Three focused case studies suggest that provinces with greater population density, economic diversity, and experience with international organizations outperform other provinces. They may therefore serve as a useful model for sharing with other provinces that are further behind the learning curve.

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DOI: 10.1111/1477-8947.12066