Jakarta, 28 Oktober 2021– Indonesia has updated its Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) document. However, Indonesia’s target to achieve carbon neutrality by 2060 is assessed as “highly insufficient”. This shows that Indonesia’s climate policies and actions are still leading to increased emissions. To be compatible with the Paris Agreement, Indonesia needs to set more ambitious targets and policies, notably in sectors that contribute to increasing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and boost the flow of international climate-related finance.
Throughout 2019, the energy sector was still the largest contributor to GHG emissions (45.7% except for the FOLU or forest and land-use sector). The power generation sub-sector is responsible for 35% of GHG emissions, followed by transportation and industry with 27% each. The Climate Transparency Report 2021 states that although Indonesia has proposed increasing renewable energy in terms of electricity, transportation, and industry, there is no strategy to phase out coal gradually and unavailable policies that encourage competition for renewable energy with coal. Climate Transparency Report 2021- the world’s most comprehensive annual record and comparison of G20 countries’ climate action, even projecting that Indonesia’s post-pandemic GHG emissions will soar beyond the emission level in 2019 as the revival of economic activity.
“Based on the IESR study, at the very least, to be compatible with the Paris Agreement, the reduction of carbon emissions in the energy sector should be above 500 million tons,” said Fabby Tumiwa, Executive Director of the Institute for Essential Services Reform (IESR) at the launch of the Climate Transparency Report, Country Profile of Indonesia 2021.
Fabby explained that there are three strategies that the Indonesian government can take to reduce GHG emissions from the emission sector.
“First, increasing the renewable energy mix. It must reach 50% in 2030. Second, fostering energy efficiency, remarkably from the transportation sector. Our energy consumption per capita for electricity is relatively low, while the demand for transportation fuels is very high, and it is a contributor to highest emissions,” he said.
Furthermore, Fabby said that early retirement of at least 10 GW of coal-fired power plants (CFPP) or not extending the contract would be effective in reducing emissions.
Until 2020, Indonesia’s electricity sector will continue to be dominated by fossil fuels (82%), with coal accounting for the highest share (62%) in electricity generation 2020. As a result, the emission intensity of the electricity sector for five years from 2015-2020 has not changed significantly, only decreasing by 1%. Meanwhile, the average of G20 member countries has declined 10 times faster.
The Indonesian government has not yet fully implemented its commitment to reduce emissions from coal. To meet the carbon-neutral goal by 2060, the government has announced that they would not build a new coal-fired power plant after 2023. However, at the same time, around 2 GW of coal capacity has started operating. Moreover, in the NDC, Indonesia promised to reduce coal by 30% by 2025 and 25% by 2050. Meanwhile, according to the analysis of the Climate Transparency Report 2021, electricity generation from coal must even reach its peak in 2020 and need to stop coal completely by 2037 to align with the temperature rise limiting path at 1.5°C.
To reduce GHG emissions, a large amount of funding is needed. Therefore, public funding must have started to lead to actions that can tackle climate change more seriously.
“Therefore, subsidies in the fossil energy sector must begin to stop and accelerate the energy transition through renewable energy funding,” said Lisa Wijayani, Green Economy Program Manager, IESR.
In her opinion, investment in green energy and its infrastructure needs to be greater than in fossil fuels in 2025. So far, Indonesia has spent 8.6 billion USD on fossil fuel subsidies in 2019, 21.96% of them on petroleum and 38,48% on electricity.
Furthermore, Lisa added that the implementation of a carbon tax can be a good start in encouraging efforts to reduce GHG emissions, which are mainly contributed by the electricity, transportation, and industrial sectors as the largest emitters in Indonesia in the energy sector.
“However, there needs to be a more feasible mechanism so that the implementation of a carbon tax can reduce emissions significantly and promote a climate-resilient economy through even greater efforts, for instance, through carbon trading,” Lisa said