Regulating Disasters, Climate Change and Environmental Harm
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Regulating Disasters, Climate Change and Environmental Harm

Lessons from the Indonesian Experience

Edited by Michael Faure and Andri Wibisana

This book deals with questions concerning the regulation of disasters, climate change and environmental harm in developing countries, focusing on the particular case of Indonesia and addressing regulatory problems from a multidisciplinary perspective.
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Chapter 8: The need for breaking new ground in the realm of climate change

Jaap Spier


To some extent, Indonesia and the Netherlands have a common history. The benefits were largely ours. Over the centuries my country has done a lot of evil in and to Indonesia and the Indonesian people. In a sense, times did not change. Since we have left Indonesia, European and North American countries have caused extremely serious difficulties for the entire globe. This time not by colonization – that happily largely belongs to the past – but by means of irresponsibly high emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs). The toll will be beyond the imagination. We did not care. And most of us still do not, at least not enough. Those who steer the wheel in my part of the world do not cease to harp on the mantras of the need and willingness to change course. True: something has happened over the past years. But, so far, our efforts have been very modest at best. We seemingly do not care about the future, yours nor ours. We recklessly fritter away the future of the next generations. We ought to know – and, as a matter of fact, we do know – that it is high noon. Strikingly, those who draw the inevitable conclusion that a lot must be done right now, that we need a radical change, are despised. Such a stance is labelled as the acme of activism. Particularly, but by no means only, by legal experts.

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