COP 26, Indonesia Has No Ambitious Climate Action Breakthrough

Jakarta, 03 November – President Joko Widodo at the 26th World Leaders Summit on Climate Change or COP-26 did not announce a firm statement about increasing Indonesia’s climate ambitions. The Institute for Essential Services Reform (IESR) views that the Indonesian government should be using this moment to lead and encourage the G20 countries to set compatible climate action with the Paris Agreement. However, in his speech at COP 26, President Jokowi seemed to hand over the responsibility to developed countries to determine the achievement of carbon neutral conditions in Indonesia. It showed the less ambitious state of the Indonesian government in dealing with the climate crisis.

“Indonesia should clearly state its climate ambitions, increase its Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) targets and convey the funding needs from developed countries to achieve peak emissions by 2030 and decarbonization by 2060 or earlier. Unfortunately, the President did not state targets and plans for more ambitious mitigation actions in his speech,” said Fabby Tumiwa, Executive Director of IESR. He is also currently in Glasgow attending the COP 26 event.

The Climate Transparency Report, Country Profile of Indonesia 2021 finds that staying in the current NDC unconditional reduction target of 29%  will contribute to increased emissions (excluding the emissions from land use) to 535% above 1990 levels, or around 1,817 MtCO2e in 2030. Meanwhile, to stay below the 1.5˚C temperature limit, Indonesia’s 2030 emissions should be around 461 MtCO2e (or 61% above 1990 levels). This indicates an ambition gap of 1,168 MtCO2e.

“As a country that has quite large natural and mineral resources, such as nickel, Indonesia can raise its climate ambitions beyond the target of 29% by 2030. Moreover, if Indonesia with a large population has implemented energy conservation and efficiency since earlier, without the funds from a developed country, Indonesia can reduce carbon greater than the target in the NDC,” explained Lisa Wijayani, Manager of the Green Economy Program, IESR.

Furthermore, IESR observes that Indonesia’s plan, which was stated by Jokowi on the same occasion, to transition to clean energy is still constrained by regulations that have not yet been issued. Jokowi proposed to build the largest solar PV in Southeast Asia, but until today the Regulation of Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources No. 26/2021 Regarding Rooftop Solar Power Plants is still waiting for approval at the Ministry of Finance. Besides, the Presidential Regulation regarding new and renewable energy, which has been awaited since early 2021, has not yet been released.

“The Indonesian government should simultaneously issue appropriate regulations to create a more massive renewable energy ecosystem for development, as well as encourage investment from developed countries. Clear regulations and targets can open up greater opportunities for investors to invest in renewable energy,” added Lisa.

Not only that, but in his attention, Jokowi also plays an important role in carbon markets and prices in solving climate problems. This October, the government has issued the Law on Harmonization of Tax Regulations. A carbon tax of IDR 30 per kilogram of carbon dioxide equivalent will be applied to the number of emissions that exceed the stipulated emission limits (cap and tax).

“The determination of the carbon tax price at IDR 30 per kg (USD 2 per ton) is still very far from the recommendations of the World Bank and IMF which set the carbon tax price for developing countries to be in the range of USD 35-100t/CO2e. Even the IPCC report explains that the carbon tax rate in 2020 is in the range of US$ 40-80/tCO2. With a small carbon tax rate, the government’s goal to reduce carbon emissions significantly through this carbon tax will not be achieved,” said Lisa.

Climate Transparency Report 2021: Real Climate Change Impacts, Indonesia Needs to Increase its Climate Action

Jakarta, 28 October 2021 – A few days before COP 26 in Glasgow, the Institute for Essential Services Reform (IESR) launched the Climate Transparency Report, Country Profile of Indonesia 2021. In particular, this annual report on climate action by the G20 countries, highlights Indonesia’s climate action. which includes adaptation, mitigation and financial mobilization to address climate change.

IESR Executive Director, Fabby Tumiwa, in his speech said that the launch of the Climate Transparency report is very relevant to COP26 because this report measures whether Indonesia’s climate action achievements are in line with the Paris Agreement targets or not.

“We only have less than a decade left to ensure a global temperature rise below 1.5 degrees Celsius. Indonesia is also highlighted because we are a member of the G20, also because Indonesia is ranked in the top 10 largest emitting countries in the world, “explained Fabby.

For this reason, according to Emil Salim, Professor of the Faculty of Economics at UI who is also an environmentalist, policy makers in Indonesia need to establish political policies that are able to reduce carbon emissions and achieve carbon neutrality by 2050 for the survival of future generations.

“The fate of the younger generation in 2050 depends on the political decisions we make now. Don’t just think about the current economic benefits, because it’s the younger generation who will bear the consequences of the choices they don’t make. Think about what will happen to the Indonesian people if the impact of climate change gets worse,” said Emil Salim.

Presenting the report on Indonesia’s climate action, Lisa Wijayani, Green Economy Program Manager, IESR underlined that Indonesia’s climate action is categorized as “highly insufficient” in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The use of fossil energy reaches 82% in 2020 making the energy sector the largest contributor to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in Indonesia (45.7% in addition to emissions from forests and land use).

Based on the findings of Climate Transparency, Lisa explained that 2020 should be the peak of coal use and from 2030-2040 its use should be gradually reduced until it is no longer used. 

“In addition, to reduce emissions from the transportation sector, Indonesia must increase the use of renewable energy by 40-60% in 2040 or 70-90% in 2050,” explained Lisa regarding the second largest emitting sub-sector;  transportation.

The Climate Transparency report also encourages ecosystems that support the development of renewable energy, including by halting subsidies on fossil energy.

“Removal of subsidies will help renewable energy compete with fossil energy,” added Lisa.

In terms of the impact of climate change on health, Budi Haryanto, Epidemiologist at the University of Indonesia, explained the high mortality rate due to the increase in the earth’s temperature.

“It is estimated that in 2030-2050, climate change will cause an additional million deaths per year due to malnutrition, malaria, and stress due to heat waves,” he explained.

Furthermore, Budi encourages the government, especially the Ministry of Health to have health data related to climate change adaptation.

In frequency, climate-related disasters are increasing. This was conveyed by Raditya Jati, Deputy of System and Strategy, National Disaster Management Agency. He added that Indonesia as an archipelagic country has a fairly high risk of natural disasters.

“7 out of 10 disasters that occur are hydrometeorological disasters and the frequency this year is higher than 2020,” said Raditya.

In order to significantly reduce GHG emissions, transformation also needs to be carried out in the economic sector, by shifting to a green economy. Eka Chandra Buana, Director of Macroeconomic Planning and Statistical Analysis, Bappenas said that the green economy is a game changer for the Indonesian economy after Covid-19. According to him, low-carbon development by utilizing renewable energy will be the backbone to achieve Indonesia’s green economy targets and net-zero emissions by 2060.

“Based on our calculation, to achieve net-zero in 2060, Indonesia must increase the use of new and renewable energy to 70% in 2050, and 87% in 2060. This calculation is still in process,” said Eka Chandra. 

The success of low-carbon development certainly requires the participation of all parties, especially the city government. Bernardia Tjandradewi, Secretary General of United Cities and Local Governments Asia Pacific (UCLG ASPAC) said that the responsibility of city governments is vital, especially statistically, 60-80% of greenhouse gas emissions in the world are generated in urban areas.


“UCLG ASPAC encourages the role of regional heads (mayors) in dealing with climate change by providing training to city governments on climate action planning, access to climate-related finance, and the adoption and development of monitoring tools,” explained Bernardia.


Whatever the solution to reducing GHG emissions, including transitioning energy to renewable energy, it must be done fairly. Desi Ayu Pirnasari, Researcher at the University of Leeds, emphasized that an equitable transition will shape climate resilience and social inclusion in society.


“The strategy should prioritize community participation to increase ownership on our agenda, to help us achieve our targets. Climate justice is not only about mitigation or action, but also to improve the living standards of vulnerable people,” she stressed.

Mapping the Potential of Renewable Energy in Indonesia for a More Precise Energy Transition Planning

Jakarta, October 25, 2021 – In order to encourage the acceleration of renewable energy development, the Institute for Essential Services Reform (IESR) launched a study entitled “Beyond 443 GW: Indonesia’s Infinite Renewables Energy Potentials”. This study contains data on mapping the technical potential of renewable energy in Indonesia using a Geographical Information System (GIS).

Fabby Tumiwa, Executive Director of IESR, in his opening speech hoped that this study could be a constructive input for the government and policy makers in planning and allocating their resources to utilize the potential of renewable energy as much as possible, both in terms of policy regulations and support from the State Budget.

“We hope that this potential mapping will also help local governments who are mandated to take advantage of the potential of renewable energy resources. They are also expected to encourage the use of renewable energy so that efforts to achieve decarbonization can be carried out together,” said Fabby.

This study states a total up to 7,879.4 GW (scenario 1) or 6,811.3 GW (scenario 2) renewable energy potential in Indonesia. It consists of solar (7,714.6 GW scenario 1 and 6,749.3 GW scenario 2), micro hydro ( 28.1 GW scenario 1 and 6.3 GW scenario 2), wind (19.8 GW – 106 GW), and biomass (30.73 GW).

Handriyanti Diah Puspitarini, the author of the ‘Beyond 443 GW’ study, in her presentation explained that the potential data was higher than the one stated in the National Energy General Plan (RUEN) document of 443 GW.

“The potential for renewable energy in Indonesia is very abundant, even more than what is needed to achieve deep decarbonization (or the 2050 zero emission target),” explained Handriyanti.

Through this ‘Beyond 443 GW’ study, IESR recommends the government to (1) update and review data on the technical potential of renewable energy on a regular basis as technology develops; (2) complete the necessary technical potential map with a brief analysis of the intermittent, variability, and network readiness; (3) consider a decentralized system and inter-island connections to ensure access and availability of electricity from renewable energy; (4) provide support for renewable energy technology innovations in order to open up greater utilization opportunities. 

Present as a responder, Hariyanto, Head of the Center for Research and Technology Development (P3TEK) of the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources, stated that the results of this study could enrich the data on renewable energy potential because the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources is currently updating the technical potential data for renewable energy in Indonesia including solar, wind and solar, hydro, and bioenergy.

“From the results presented, currently there are the same numbers and there are different ones because I see there are different assumptions and scenarios. For example, the solar potential, which was originally 207.8 GW when updated, has a potential of 189 – 3,294.4 GW with various assumptions. We will still discuss with all stakeholders whether this figure can be put into practice,” explained Hariyanto.

Djoko Siswanto, Secretary General of the National Energy Council, welcomed this study and stated that the results of this study and the data currently being updated by the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources could be the basis for national and local governments in developing renewable energy. According to him, the national government can use the results of the latest renewable energy technical potential mapping as a consideration in the preparation of the National Grand Strategy Energy (GSEN), which is currently being carried out by the DEN.

Meanwhile, for local governments, the results of this mapping can be used as a basis for preparing the General Regional Energy Plan (RUED).

“DEN is currently facilitating the regions to draw up Perda RUED. The results of this mapping will be very useful in drafting Perda RUED which will later become the basis for Regional Governments in developing renewables in their respective regions,” Djoko added.

Still on the same occasion, Chairman of the Indonesian Renewable Energy Society (METI), Surya Darma stressed the importance of always updating data on potential renewable energy on a regular basis.

“The rapid development of technology and the different assumptions used can make the numbers fluctuate, but that’s okay. Our task is to find alternatives so that these potentials can be realized and really utilized,” said Surya Darma.