Sunday, February 05, 2006

Sutiyoso is an environmentalist

... or at least that's what he might think he is. The Jakarta mayor has just agreed 1) to ban smoking in public place and 2) to run compulsory emission test on vehicles.

I don't think any of these green policies could work well. Not as environmentalists would like them to. For smoking ban, see my takes here (on New York's case two years ago) and here (on the right to smoke and externality). As for emission standard, here's a related post. In short, I am skeptical on command-and-control approach. It's too much prone to abuse. I'm risking my face for papercup throwing session once again; but I'm gonna just say it: if clean air is the goal, gasoline tax* will do better than emission standard. You ready with another increase in gasoline price?

*) ... and I mean a uniform tax on kilometers, not an emission tax. See a paper by Sarah West here.


  1. i hate to admit it, but Sutiyoso does quite a lot for Jakarta. haven't really forgive him for TransJakarta misplanning, but it does help public-transport users to certain extent. and he might spend a fortune refurbishing Bunderan HI and Thamrin-Sudirman sidewalk but dammit, it's good looking.

    back to his new policies, we know we need clean and fresh air -yes, including smokers like me-. at least he does something about it, if it doesn't work then he'll find another way. let him do his trial and error method, just like monkey. i appreciate his effort to provide smoking-booth in every building, equaly considerate to those who needs it.

    but afterall, the fact that he posed with F4 member giving peace sign on his hand is still the ultimate disgrace he ever done. unforgiven, governor. there's nothing you can do to make up that sin...

  2. Emission test in Jkt? :):) ... would ground the entire bajaj,metromini, and bus fleets.

    Congestion is also a major contributor in Jkt's polution. I think there is a lot we can gain just by cleverly restructuring current Jkt's transport network.

  3. The smoking ban in NYC (surprisingly) works well.
    My brief comment on it is here.