USASCP Program Manager, Helen Santiago Fink, served as a keynote speaker for the “Low Carbon in Policy Strategy” session at the Makassar Low-Carbon City with Metaverse event. This hybrid event had more than 1000 participants from governments, academia, communities, and industry representatives. 

Makassar, Indonesia is working to achieve net zero emissions and focusing on supporting a “green economy” by implementing Metaverse.  Low carbon cities are the world community’s response to global climate change caused by carbon emissions originating from human activities, both production activities such as industry and daily life activities such as transportation and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions with economic development accompanied by efforts to preserve the environment and maintain community life so as to create sustainability. Makassar has utilized the Metaverse approach, where residents of Makassar City can access public services virtually through avatars for each agency. The implementation of the Makassar Metaverse, dubbed “Makaverse,” will provide 24 hour access to public services and eliminates the need for residents to physically go to government offices, thereby reducing carbon emissions.

Ms. Santiago Fink spoke about the exciting work USASCP is doing to promote urban sustainability, climate resiliency, and economic circularity across the ASEAN region. She also spoke about the important role of having partnerships with both the public and private sectors, especially when promoting regional sustainability. These partnerships can be beneficial in the realms of climate finance, green buildings/infrastructure, and circular economy promotion. The presentation highlighted the work of the Smart Cities Business Innovation Fund, which serves as an exemplary pilot collaboration between public and private sectors at the subnational level to work towards countries’ national determined commitments (NDCs).

Professor Wangda Zuo, one of the principal investigators under the USASCP Research and Innovation program, presented on his Smart Garden Alley project in Makassar.

Participants were able to better understand Low Carbon programs, and garner enthusiasm on how to address climate challenges.