Brurce M. Mecca, a senior analyst on our Indonesia team, discusses the importance of personal relationships to climate action, his selection for the Yale Emerging Climate Leaders Fellowship and his interest in Indonesian indigenous arts.
Hi Brurce. You work with Climateworks in Indonesia, building partnerships and finance across the region for climate and oceans finance — so what does that mean?
As a Senior Analyst, I design practical and customised solutions that try to find the balance between helping Indonesia secure a sustainable future while alleviating millions of Indonesians out of poverty.
This means representing Climateworks in various strategic discussions and consensus building on climate policy discussions in Indonesia and sometimes internationally.
But I also know that if we’re to actually make meaningful system change, ultimately what will really move the needle is people.
So beyond my analytical work, I also actively invest in building trust and nurturing relationships with critical climate movers and shakers — decision makers, financiers, corporate actors, and civic society organisations in Indonesia and across Southeast Asia.
Ultimately, I want to centre every aspect of my work on empowering people, especially those who live in the margins.
What excites you most about your work?
A lot of people see climate change as a war between science and politics; that it is about scientists versus politicians, or scientists versus extractive industries with profit-making motives.
I see climate change as a systemic problem that centres on people, specifically, how people relate to the environment.
To me, climate change is both science and politics.
Even more, it’s about culture. It’s about a system of billions of people.
Solving climate change is not just about solving technological problems, it is also about reorienting people and their worldviews towards sustainability — towards understanding culture, social norms, diversity of perspectives, and so much more.
Congratulations for being selected as one of 16 people in the inaugural Yale Emerging Climate Leaders Fellowship! How big a deal is this?
The Fellowship is a tremendous opportunity to connect and collaborate with emerging climate leaders dedicated to shaping and accelerating climate actions in developing countries.
Yale and the International Energy Agency teams are working closely with many current and former US Government officials in the development and execution of a highly selective eight-month hybrid program aimed at building a network of future global climate change and clean energy leaders from the emerging world.
To be selected, I passed through a rigorous selection process, which identified only 16 fellows worldwide from an initial pool of more than 3,000 applicants.
As one of the 16 inaugural cohorts, I’ll also be in a position to help the fellowship grow its network, hopefully to become as influential as the well-known Yale World Fellows.
I hope I’m not being too repetitive in saying that I believe we must invest in climate solutions tailored from the worldview of the people being impacted the most — and in the constellation of global climate cooperation, developing countries are at the epicentre.
It makes sense that our shared experience, perspective, and indigenous practices should be the benchmark for the global climate movement.
It is my life goal to help see this happen and being one of the inaugural fellows is one way for me to expedite that.
You have a lot going on in your professional life. What hobbies or interests do you enjoy outside of work?
Arts and nature! Especially indigenous arts — I love appreciating the richness of the history it shares.
In fact, I’ve been learning the meaning behind Batik patterns for a while now.
I also love walking in nature. My ideal holiday is hiking in not-so-challenging-yet-still-pristine national parks with my loved ones.
Bruce, thanks for your time!
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