Friday, June 9, 2017

Fragmented climate governance in Indonesia



Fragmentation theory focuses on interaction among different institutions on the architecture of an institutional setting. Competition among different national entities resulting in fragmentation reflects the persistence of domestic power relations.
This situation is happening with climate governance in Indonesia, which includes different cases from various institutions and platforms. One such case is the biogas program as one of the climate change mitigation strategies in the Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Action. This climate governance involves NGOs, local and national governments, businesses and international development organizations. 

The government has several biogas programs initiated by the Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry, the Environment and Forestry Ministry and the Agriculture Ministry. Biogas installations under government-led programs are provided with a 100 percent subsidy. From 2010, many government biogas programs have been working with BIRU as the implementing partner and consultant.
BIRU is another biogas program established by Hivos (a Netherlands NGO) and the SNV Netherlands Development Organization, in partnership with YRE (Yayasan Rumah Energi) and supported by several climate change trust funds. BIRU has installed 16,015 digesters in nine provinces from 2010 to 2015. BIRU uses a market-based approach, with 50 percent of the installation covered by Hivos with equipment, 20 to 30 percent by users and the remaining amount subsided through carbon credits. Another approach combines loan schemes in partnership with the private sector.

A few biogas programs are also being run through private sector social responsibility programs, such as those by state-owned gas company PGN, state-owned oil and gas company Pertamina and plantation companies.
Various biogas programs of the abovementioned have limited coordination as they have not been integrated within a single framework. Loose interaction among the programs reflects fragmentation, due to diverse and conflicting interests among the institutions.
This has happened between BIRU’s market approach and programs fully subsidized by the government. Hivos and YRE have criticized  the government's grants method, which results in inappropriate attitudes by biogas users. Most depend on the grant program by the government and refuse to put any money toward biogas despite the positive impacts they would enjoy.
When the program is fully subsidized, the user can take it for granted and may lack a sense of ownership. This condition has affected the business opportunities for Hivos and YRE, which are interested in biogas demand.
The connection between BIRU and the government can also be defined as type and degree of cooperative fragmentation. BIRU’s support for some government biogas programs has yielded effective outcomes for communities and climate policy action. The government programs that involve BIRU result in better quality of biogas installation than those that don’t.
The government follows the standard procedures for biogas programs based on BIRU recommendations. BIRU institutional arrangements are loosely integrated with government institutional arrangements. Those arrangements are also linked with the other actors, such as credit schemes with the private sector to assist the biogas program.
BIRU’s credit scheme encourages the government to cooperate with local NGOs to help with the transition of the program to adapt with the market-based approach of biogas programs through support by microfinance institutions. The government is opening more opportunities for the private sector to become involved in the biogas program.
This policy is giving determinacy to private sector interest to bring positive feedback for biogas development in Indonesia. Likewise, the government's move to support the credit scheme is solving conflictive fragmentation between BIRU and the government. This achievement leads to the institutional fit of BIRU with other actors, which has enabled the installation of thousands of digesters.
The fragmentation shows that biogas programs of nation states are becoming increasingly less central in climate governance –in that non-state actors such as BIRU take over. The success of BIRU brings stronger power and high influence to the other actors in the architecture of climate governance.
Support by coalitions of foreign states, businesses, scientists, national and local NGOs makes BIRU more progressive in developing pathways for transition to clean energy as part of climate governance. It reduces the influence of other actors, including the government, in deciding the direction of the program.
BIRU’s collaboration with other biogas programs makes new connections in the biogas program. The influence of BIRU is reducing fragmentation in the biogas program. A decreased degree of the fragmentation is a result of BIRU as a non-state actor that dominates biogas politics and implementation in Indonesia.
BIRU is becoming central in climate governance of biogas as it supports other biogas programs. This non-state actor is taking the lead and controlling the government in terms of the direction of the program. This indicates that BIRU is slowly changing the fragmentation in a new hierarchy in climate governance in Indonesia. The influence of non-state actors is shifting the fragmentation to a new cooperative hierarchy.
In the new hierarchy, a non-state actor may influence state policy. It is because the state may also rely on the non-state actor due to its limited capability. Hidenori Nakamura, researcher from Institute for Global Environmental Strategies found that several Indonesia’s sub-national governments had insufficient knowledge and organizational capacity to implement climate management practices. To move forward in bargaining outcome, the state has to increase its capacity with or without the support of non-state actors.

This article was published in http://www.thejakartapost.com/academia/2017/06/06/fragmented-climate-governance.html

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