Emerging Challenges in the Environment Landscape: Addressing Climate Change, Sustainability, and Poverty
Climate change disproportionately affects people living in poverty and threatens to reverse decades of progress in global poverty alleviation. Many of these consequences are felt already through worsening food security and extreme weather events that damage economies and displaced populations. To date, much investment has focused on technological innovations to combat climate change. However, there is less evidence on policy innovation, which is equally important. While the climate sphere is rich with data and evidence about the likely impacts of climate change on our planet and societies, in many cases, there is not yet rigorous evidence on the benefits and costs of programs and policies from real-world evaluations.
To further support the important work to build climate resiliency and a sustainable environment, J-PAL Southeast Asia (SEA) will host this in-person research-to-policy conference, Emerging Challenges in the Environment Landscape: Addressing Climate Change, Sustainability, and Poverty. The goal of this conference is to provide insights into the Government of Indonesia’s policy priorities, identify critical policy questions, and learn from global evidence about challenges faced in the environmental sector.
There will be two parts to the conference. We will kick off the day with a plenary session, where speakers will discuss examples from existing evidence on how innovative environmental economics research contributed to informing key policies.
This will be followed by three parallel workshop sessions, where speakers and participants will have the opportunity to discuss a series of open questions and dive deeper into specific environment- and climate change-related issues.
Participants are welcome to join one of the following parallel workshop sessions:
- Sustainable Forests and Marine Ecosystems: Indonesia has lost a significant portion of its humid primary forest, in large part due to commodity-driven deforestation. The effects of this are worsened by more greenhouse gas emissions from fires to clear land for agriculture. In addition, protecting marine ecosystems is equally important, especially in the face of ocean plastic pollution, overfishing, and mangrove ecosystem degradation. This session will explore key issues, policy options, and the way forward to protect the region’s forest and marine ecosystems.
- Sustainable Energy: Energy is essential for sustaining growth and a key commodity to lift millions of lives out of poverty. However, key issues varying from affordability, disparity of access, financing schemes, and transitioning from non-renewable sources to renewables lie at the center of the discussion. In this session, we will discuss the opportunity to make energy more sustainable in Indonesia and utilize potential natural sources such as geothermal, biomass, wind, and biogas.
- Air Pollution and Urban Transportation: Air pollution has become one of the biggest challenges faced by many urban areas in Indonesia, primarily caused by extensive usage of coal and fossil fuels emitted from land transportation. Initiatives, such as traffic policies, the use of electric vehicles and electric mass transportation, and building city forests, have been instigated to provide cleaner air for urban populations. In this session, we will work to identify the most effective ways to reduce and monitor air pollution levels.
Rema Hanna (welcoming remarks)
Scientific Director of J-PAL SEA; Jeffrey Cheah Professor of South-East Asia Studies at Harvard Kennedy School
Benjamin Olken (welcoming remarks)
Scientific Director of J-PAL SEA; Jane Berkowitz Carlton and Dennis William Carlton Professor of Microeconomics at Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Policy Advisor for the National Team for the Acceleration of Poverty Reduction (TNP2K); Senior Research Fellow, The SMERU Institute
J-PAL Affiliated Professor; W.Maurice Young (1961) Career Development Professor of Management and Assistant Professor in Applied Economics at MIT Sloan School of Management
J-PAL Invited Researcher; Professor at the Arndt-Corden Department of Economics at Australia National University
Additional speakers forthcoming