Climate Change Conference & environmentally friendly transport

Organizers at the UNFCCC in Nusa Dua have arranged for 200 bicycle for attendees to use. This together with the shuttle buses that patrol the area will help to reduce CO2 emissions during the conference. Here’s more from the Jakarta Post.

Climate change conference to use push bikes, shuttle buses

NUSA DUA, Bali (JP): Responding to expected heavy traffic with increased carbon emissions during the UN climate change meeting, organizer of the 13th UN Conference of Parties (COP) in Nusa Dua, Bali will provide at least 200 bicycles and 120 shuttle buses as transport for conference delegates. Roads within the Nusa Dua tourist enclave conference venue will also be closed to traffic to reduce traffic congestion and emissions loads.

“Each bus can hold 40 to 50 people. The shuttle bus system is estimated to transport 3,500 people per hour,” Agus Purnomo, the chairman of the organizing committee told The Jakarta Post.

The buses will continuously circle three drop off zones at the complex during the meeting. Drop off Zone 1 is at the entrance gates of the Nusa Dua tourist enclave, home for the climate change meeting. From the Nusa Dua gates attendees can either take a push bike, walk or bus to meetings.

While the tourist enclave has excellent pedestrian facilities, distances between conference venues under Nusa Dua’s scorching heat make for hard walking conditions, but ideal for push biking from point to point.

The three main venues hosting the Official United Nations Climate Change Conference (UNFCCC) are Bali International Conference Center (BICC) or The Westin Resort, The Laguna Resort and Spa and the Grand Hyatt. Side events are planned at additional venues both within and outside the Nusa Dua enclave.

“In addition to the buses, we will provide at least 200 push bikes. Initially, we planned to have 700 bikes, but some partners cancelled delivery. At this stage we’re certain 200 bikes will be delivered,” Agus said Saturday.

Push bikes are available on loan to all attendees of the climate change meeting who hold a 13th COP badge. Bikes will be available at the three parking specific parking zones designated by the organizing committee.

“The service will apply a ‘first come first’ principle,” Agus said.

Nusa Dua is a resort beach located south of Denpasar and Bali’s Ngurah Rai airport. Public transportation is limited except for taxis. Conference participants from official hotels in Sanur, Jimbaran, Benoa and Kuta will be provided with shuttle buses from their hotels to the Nusa Dua conference site.

An estimated 15,000 people are expected to take part in the climate conference. Most of the activities are concentrated within the Nusa Dua enclave.

One might ask why the rest of the island isn’t already using bicycles and shuttle buses. In the Seminyak and Ubud areas the occasional pair of tourists can be spotted using bicycles. Ubud is a perfect place for this given the fact that many of the lanes are quiet and user friendly. Seminyak / Kuta is a different story because of the traffic levels. Its is possible to ride a bicycle on public streets but your experience may not be one you’d like to repeat. In a developing country such as Indonesia, one would expect the bicycle to be popular. Apart from children under the age of 10 bicycles cannot compete with motorbikes and in local villages its possible to observe kids aged 12 and under zooming along on a scooter with a younger sibling as passenger.

Environmentally friendly local buses make total sense. One of the worst aspects about the transport situation in Bali is diesel buses belching clouds of nasty black smoke. This brings up another issue, vehicle emission tests. Bali has no such test at present and implementing one would be another burden on the government / police. However you’ve got to start somewhere. Clean air is a wonderful thing and hopefully the Nusa Dua conference will kick start local awareness.