The Trap of ‘A Fuel Economy Policy’


Ahmad Safrudin article entitled “What can Indonesia gain from a fuel economy policy” published on Jakarta Post on October 3rd, 2016, highlights the environment friendly car production plan by narrating th ecological context on one hand and the domestic economy on the other.

Certainly, this article support the instruction of President Jokowi for two reasons. First, eco-friendly car is one of the most important steps to reduce carbon emissions on earth. The discourse of environmental damage due to carbon emissions for the last decade has become world’s concern.  This point, in fact, is the integral part of the SDG’s. Secondly, in terms of economy, car production will be beneficial both in fiscal and non-fiscal. 

To support this, according to Safrudin, government needs to implement low tax rate. Indeed, relying on environmentally friendly campaign does not give complete confidence to the customer. In the country, as an example, where cars nowadays are wanted by the middle class, the tax remains relatively considered. Moreover, accompanied by a concrete work to reduce air damage. Here, we need to respect their concern about this global issue. But not necessarily turn down our critical thinking.

 I will give you some notes about this kind of thinking trap. I called it trap because on the surface the idea seems positive and encouraging. However this idea going to bring two benefits both for international and national interests, but behind these sweet arguments there is entrapment problems that can not be handled during all this time.

First, the policy to produce excessive car can become destructive. Excessive car production will support the ownership mode of personal transportation which is contradictive to Jokowi’s campaign when he served as the governor of Jakarta. Jakarta and other big cities are now facing the same problem; Congestion.

The desire to possessed personal mode of production has given rise to a problem that difficult to solved within the few decades. And it seems we forget the homecoming flow this year became a terrible congestion tragedy. This tragedy also took many lives. This is where we need to think that any car with any kind of fuel, including the eco-friendly one, will become a problem. and I was a little bit pessimistic about eco-friendly fuel car export program. In countries that already aware of the danger of congestion will limit the quota of personal transportation and emphasize mass transportation. Because it means they are protecting their national interests.

Secondly, eco-friendly car is not a solution for the damaged caused by capitalism. But a sustainability framework that perpetuates companies to produce goods, including the cars. And once again, as their destructive instincts, car production even with environmentally friendly appendage actually would still cause problems. The term environmentally friendly is just a cover for capitalism to keep perpetuating their production. Surprisingly, the government itself adopted this kind of thinking pattern.

No need to consider. Was it more important to avoid problems rather than continue a policy ?

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