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Member Profile – City of Palembang: Combating Climate Change with GCoM

As in 2019, Palembang’s population consists of 1,602,071 inhabitants. With an area of 369.22 sq kilometers, Palembang has a year-round tropical climate. Topographically, most of Palembang is comprised of lowlands, except the small area on the Northside which has a higher elevation than the rest of the city. Most of the grounds are marshlands that are flooded during the rainy season.

As the capital city of South Sumatra, Palembang experiences a catastrophic level of haze, as forest fires roared back to life in the region particularly during the summer. The city is often severely hit by haze from the hotspots, which significantly reduces visibility and transforms the air quality at an extremely dangerous level. Challenges to improve air quality also roots from carbon emission and land fire. Palembang stands ready to take concrete measures with long-term impact to tackle the interconnected challenges of climate change mitigation and adaptation.

The government of Palembang City expressed the interest to commit as a member of Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy (GCoM) in September 2019. With support from GCoM, Palembang believes they will achieve sustainable and integrated urban development and good governance in the energy and climate change sector as part of Sustainable Development Goals Target 11, 13 and 17.

Having been selected as one of the pilot recipients for IUC Asia project implementation, Palembang pledges to take transformational action to develop Climate Action Plan (CAP) which addresses mitigation of Green House Gases (GHG) emissions as well as adaptations to locked-in and potential impacts of climate change, and protects climate-vulnerable population group/s under the framework of GCoM and Ministry of Environment and Forestry of (MoEF) Indonesia.

In addition to intensive technical assistance, Palembang city has received step-by-step training and knowledge sharing on how to develop each essential component of CAP. Some activities include capacity building workshop in GHG inventory development; capacity building in conducting climate vulnerability and risk assessment;  consultation meeting on GHG inventory update ; focus group discussion with the private sectors;  and deep discussion on how integrate the climate action into the city development agenda.

The city administration has implemented a number of initiatives to support the national road map towards 2025 Clean-from-Waste Indonesia. Launched in early 2020, the Mayor issued the regulation to reduce single-use plastic in city official activities. Other remarkable efforts made by Palembang are namely the dumpsite rehabilitation that includes leachate collection systems; improvement of drainage system; keeping the site access roads in good condition and changes in the slope of the site.

At the Indonesia Climate Festival 2019, Government of Palembang was awarded by the Indonesian MoEF for their work to support one of climate-friendly villages located in Kalidoni district. With the active participation from local community, this village was introduced to the integrated waste management program which dealing waste prevention, recycling, composting, and disposal. A solar panel system with a total 2.2 kilowats capacity is installed there to power up the water pump and some applications.

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