Learning from the US How to Seize the Climate Opportunity

Jakarta, 13 September 2022 – To combat the climate crisis, our action today will determine the economic, and sustainability of mankind in the long run. The IPCC report has already told us that the remaining time we have to hold the global temperature at 1.5 degree Celsius is limited. Global commitment to address climate change has been pushed through international forums. 

After rejoining the Paris Agreement during the Biden – Harris administration, the United States (US) is actively encouraging global citizens to tackle climate change through policies and strategic planning. Recently, the US just released new regulations i.e Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) to boost the utilization of clean energy technology. The US’s target is to reduce 50-52% of GHG emissions by 2030 and use 100% clean electricity by 2035 before being net-zero emission in 2050. 

Nathan Hultman, director of the Center for Global Sustainability University of Maryland, during a public lecture session in collaboration with the Office of the President of Indonesia, and the Institute for Essential Services Reform said that he believes that we can achieve the 1.5-degree level.

“We are surely making some progress and are still on the 1.5-degree track. But our work is not done. We have more work to do especially through policy,” Nathan said.

Nathan emphasizes the need for a multi-stakeholder approach in addressing climate emergencies through the energy transition. He explained that the national government is an important stakeholder in determining the energy transition. However, in energy transition we cannot rely solely on the national government since the idea of energy transition must be embraced by many actors including the sub-national level government and even the private sectors.

“For example, in the US during the Trump administration there are not so many things (climate policy) happening, but there is some progress at the sub-national level that pushes national policy in the upcoming administration,” he explained.

Realizing that most democratic countries have similar stakeholders, this ‘All in’ approach can be duplicated in other countries. Every country is different, but each of us has the opportunity to do more.

Playing a strategic role as a G20 leader this year, Indonesia has a critical point in achieving global climate goals. By proposing a more ambitious climate pledge, accelerating renewables into the system, and adopting EVs in massive numbers, Indonesia can inspire other countries to show concrete action in addressing the climate crisis.

Every country needs to figure out its strategic way to do the transition but learning from others is a need indeed. Global commitment to support funding for energy transition must be fulfilled to assist developing countries in running the transition smoothly.

Hageng Nugroho, the Executive Staff Office of the President of Indonesia emphasizes the role of global collaboration to achieve the net zero target.

“Indonesia pledge to be net zero on 2060, and in achieving it we encounter several obstacles from technology till funding. There are at least four things that must be done by a country to avoid the harsh effects of the climate crisis. First, comply the NDC target, encourage citizen and potential stakeholder to participate’, strengthen the global partnership, and boosting the green economy development,”

Hageng added that the most important point is ensuring that the commitment is manifested into action rather than staying at policy level only.

ASEAN Must Work Together for Energy Transition

Jakarta, 29 July 2022 – Southeast Asia is a strategic area with the second largest economic growth in Asia after China. Southeast Asia is predicted to continue to develop economically. Energy demand is also predicted to continue to rise. With the condition that fossil energy is still abundant in the Southeast Asian region, joint efforts between countries in Southeast Asia are needed to achieve decarbonization without compromising economic growth.

South Korea and China, which are investors in various fossil projects, especially coal-fired power plants in the Southeast Asia region, have committed to no longer finance PLTU projects abroad in 2021. This commitment is expected to be a signal that will lead to more massive renewable energy investment.

Dongjae Oh, program lead for climate finance, Solutions for Our Climate (SFOC) in a webinar entitled “The State of Southeast Asia Energy Transition” stated that South Korea’s commitment to no longer finance coal-fired power plants is indeed quite surprising but there are other things that should be wary of related South Korean investment preferences.

“Despite having withdrawn funding for coal-fired power plants, South Korea continues to invest in the oil and gas sector in Southeast Asia with a value of 10 times, namely $127 billion from coal investment of only $10 billion. Indonesia is the largest recipient of oil and gas investment from South Korea,” Dongjae explained.

Dongjae added that gas is considered by the Korean government as a clean alternative energy for the transition period.

China also announced that it would no longer finance overseas coal projects in September 2021. A number of Chinese foreign and domestic policies have changed since then. Isabella Suarez, a researcher at the Center for Research on Energy and Clean Air, explained that the Chinese government has begun to include a clause on the termination of coal financing in their law.

“A number of local Chinese banks are also starting to state that they will no longer finance coal projects,” Isabella added.

The withdrawal of South Korea and China in financing coal-fired power plants is expected to urge ASEAN countries to develop renewable energy more massively.

Meanwhile, the energy transition situation in several Southeast Asian countries still needs a lot of encouragement and incentives.

Handriyanti Diah Puspitarini, a senior researcher at the Institute for Essential Services Reform (IESR), said that the current state of the energy transition in Indonesia is quite slow and not enough to meet the climate mitigation target to limit global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees.

“If Indonesia doesn’t do something to accelerate the penetration of renewable energy, according to the IESR calculation in 2025 we will only reach 15% renewable energy in the energy mix and 23% in 2030,” explained Handriyanti.

Handriyanti emphasized the importance of the Indonesian government to seek funding models and have consistent political will in Indonesia’s energy transition process, considering that the transition process takes a long time and requires large amounts of funds.

Similar to the situation in Indonesia’s electricity sector, the Philippines is still dominated by fossil energy in its electricity sector. Albert Dalusung, energy transition advisor, Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (ICSC) said that the Philippine government is currently focusing on reducing the use of oil in the transportation sector and developing renewable energy.

“The president has stated that renewable energy is at the forefront of the climate agenda, the high price of fossil energy has also made the government change its energy policy,” explained Albert.

Indonesia’s neighboring country, Malaysia, has a target of 31% renewable energy by 2025 and achieves carbon neutral status by 2050. Antony Tan, executive officer (Sustainability & Finance), All Party Parliamentary Group Malaysia on Sustainable Development Goals (APPGM – SDG), stated that currently Malaysia is optimistic that it can achieve this target.

“However, there are things that need to be improved in energy policy in Malaysia, namely the need for a specific ministry of energy and a more holistic policy to design a more sustainable transportation system,” Antony explained.

Striving an Early Literacy on Energy Transition

South Tangerang, May 23rd, 2022 – The energy transition is a global agenda whose impact will be felt in the medium-long term. Conducting research, agreement, and policy formulation are various efforts to urge stakeholders to take action in the “present days” that are expected to have an impact on the near future. Of course, in the long term, a fair & just energy transition must be encouraged and implemented to mitigate climate change.

However, have we ever thought that in the future, who will be most affected by the implementation of the energy transition? Of course, the younger generation. Thus, it is only fair to teach them from an early age to understand the concept of the energy transition. Because, in the future, policymakers in 2060, the year Indonesia targets to achieve net-zero emissions, are currently still in school.

As a concrete effort based on this understanding, the Clean, Affordable, and Secure Energy for Southeast Asia (CASE) project in Indonesia held an activity entitled “Teaching for Future” which was held at Santa Ursula School BSD, specifically for Class IX students. In this activity, CASE seeks to instill an energy transition mindset by initiating discussions and active teaching and learning activities involving students from Santa Ursula School BSD.

This activity done by CASE is in line with the efforts of Santa Ursula BSD School in instilling understanding and education about climate change from an early age as conveyed by Mrs. Irene Rosmawati, the Principal of Santa Ursula BSD School.

“Santa Ursula School actively and systematically provides teaching and learning activities related to climate change and renewable energy issues. It is hoped that students will have an understanding as to the initial capital for their real actions in the future.”

During the Teaching for the Future activity, CASE invited George Hadi Santoso, Vice President of Xurya Daya Indonesia, a company that provides installation and procurement services for rooftop solar panel systems, to directly attend the session and discuss with students of Santa Ursula School.

“I especially appreciate Santa Ursula BSD School and CASE Project who initiated this activity in an effort to support the energy transition process in the long term. I really hope that my presence here can be an inspiration for these youngsters in choosing a career in green jobs in the future,” said George, opening the discussion session in class.

Santa Ursula BSD School is a school that has taken the initiative and is in the process of installing a rooftop Solar Power Plant (PLTS) with a capacity of at least more than 1 Megawatt peak (MWp). CASE Indonesia sees this initiative as a concrete action for schools to support the energy transition in Indonesia. In addition, CASE Indonesia hopes that this initiative can become a real example for students regarding the use of renewable energy and how non-governmental actors can play a role in supporting the energy transition. Coming from the same spirit (real action against climate change), CASE and Xurya also invite students to understand other things that can be done at their age to support the energy transition, such as energy-saving habits.

An interesting finding during the activity was conveyed by Agus Praditya Tampubolon, CASE Program Manager from IESR.

“It is very interesting how junior high school students can think further about the implementation of renewable energy, for example, we were asked about the risk of dependence on imported solar panels if Indonesia uses solar energy intensively. Findings like this, that students can think ahead and beyond, we hope, will be a good sign for Indonesia’s energy transition efforts in the future,” Agus explained at the end of the event.

Climate Emergency Should be the Main Consideration of Energy Policy

The race to address climate change is getting tighter and more challenging. Each country is demanded to revisit its energy policy on time basis and align it with the Paris Agreement i.e to limit global temperature to no more than 2 degrees Celsius in 2050. The energy sector, as one of the most polluting sectors, is under the spotlight to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions, one of which is by choosing the most suitable less polluting power plant to supply energy needs. 

The nuclear power plant is in a debatable position related to its ability to provide clean energy. For years, countries like France, Germany, and Japan have relied on nuclear power to fulfill their  energy demand. However, there are haunting challenges such as the long construction period, relatively high cost, and the most alarming is the safety issue of the generator. The world notes at least two major nuclear accidents i.e Chernobyl in 1986 and Fukushima in 2011. Even the Chernobyl accident in 1986 still lingers in our mind as its impact is still happening today.

Commemorating the Chernobyl accident, on April 26th 2022,  Unika Soegijapranata and Masyarakat Rekso Bumi (Marem) hosted a webinar, titled “Reflection on Chernobyl Accident and Nuclear Option for Indonesia Power Sector”,  reflecting on the accident three decades ago and its correlation on Indonesia’s discourse to have nuclear power plant to provide reliable energy supply and to seize the net-zero emission target by 2060. 

Herman Darnel Ibrahim, a member of Indonesia’s National Energy Council, stated that Indonesia is still able to fulfill the net zero emissions target without having nuclear power plants. 

“By maximizing all kinds (variable) of renewable energy in Indonesia, especially solar and wind whose cost is continuously declining, we may not need nuclear to be net-zero,” Herman said.

Herman continued to explain that the global capacity of nuclear power keeps declining. New nuclear power plants coming online are fewer than those decommissioning. Besides that, there is also a concern about construction delays. 

“There are generally delays on construction of nuclear power plants up to 3 years, even more, this is, of course, adding up the construction cost and LCOE.”

The lengthy construction period became the concern of Mycle Schneider, an international nuclear consultant, who emphasized the time urgency in deciding the energy policy.

“Please keep in mind that the state we are in now is a climate emergency, which means it includes time pressure. To address this of course we need fast and relatively cheap solutions,” Mycle said.

Compared to other available options such as renewables or energy efficiency, nuclear power plant construction is considered the slowest option, which makes it irrelevant to address the provision of clean energy to align with the net-zero target.

Mycle added that even the nuclear industry cannot really forecast the future of the nuclear power plants. One in eight nuclear reactors that finished the construction never made it to the grid. 30 of 55 nuclear reactors currently under construction are behind schedule. In general, there is an increasing gap between nuclear perception and (nuclear) industrial reality. 

“In the coming years, decision making for energy policy should not be based on economics only, but should be based on feasibility and industrial reality,” Mycle concluded in his presentation.

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.

Climate Change: An all aspects of life crisis requires all parties participation

Jakarta, 19 October 2021 – Two weeks before the Conference of the Parties (COP) 26 in Glasgow, climate issues are widely discussed in Indonesia, one of which is to raise public voices and provide input to the Indonesian government, which is planned to be attended by President Joko Widodo to increase Indonesia’s climate ambitions.

Indonesia has renewed its climate commitments through the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) document which is complemented by the LTS-LCCR (Long Term Strategy – Low Carbon Climate Resilience) document. In terms of numbers, Indonesia did not raise its ambition any further, namely to stay at 29% with its own efforts and 41% with international assistance. Indonesia is also committed to becoming net-zero emissions by 2060 or sooner. Unfortunately, this effort is not enough to bring Indonesia to keep the earth’s average temperature increase of no more than 1.5 degrees Celsius.

In a webinar entitled “Towards COP26: Climate change and the role of the public in preserving the earth”, Fabby Tumiwa, Executive Director of the Institute of Essential Services Reform (IESR) explained that since the 1880s Indonesia has always been included in the top 10 largest emitting countries (Carbon Brief).

“We should see this responsibility to reduce emissions not as a burden but also as an opportunity to carry out a low-carbon economic transformation. The results of the IESR study show that decarbonization in 2050 will actually bring greater economic benefits, because in addition to creating new industrial opportunities and greater employment, Indonesia’s energy prices will be more affordable as well as social and economic benefits that can be felt such as cleaner air and reduce the threat of hydrometeorological disasters due to climate change,” explained Fabby.

Muhamad Ali Yusuf, Chairman of the Nahdlatul Ulama (NU) Disaster Management and Climate Change Institute, explained that in terms of religious-based community organizations communicating the issue of climate change is challenging because the public in general will care about the problems that are in front of their eyes, so we need down to earths and contextual way to talk about climate change in the community.

“On the other hand, our religious discourse is still far from ecological issues such as climate change. Even if it already exists, it has not become a priority issue. So actually literacy on climate change is also necessary for religious leaders,” he explained.

Executive Secretary for Witness and Integrity of Creation, Communion of Indonesian Churches (PGI), Pastor Jimmy Sormin added that religious leaders and figures have a strategic role to influence the views and behavior of the people and have a significant impact on influencing people’s mindsets and perspectives.

“So you must be creative to convey climate change,” explained Pastor Jimmy.

Information on climate change must be disseminated to the wider community without exception, because when the impacts of climate change such as hydrometeorological disasters appear, all residents will be affected.

Mike Verawati, Secretary General, Indonesian Women’s Coalition, explained that women are the ones most affected by climate change because our policies and systems are not inclusive. Citizens’ needs are seen as neutral needs.

“Climate, infrastructure, and nature issues are usually considered as big narratives or masculine issues, so in the end this issue is considered not a women’s issue even though they know the details and are actively advocating, even though sometimes they can’t explain it scientifically,” explained Mike.

Not only women but young people also need to be involved in policy-making efforts to tackle climate change. As the generation that will live in the future, it is these young people who will bear the impact of the climate crisis that is not taken seriously in the future.

“The Indonesian government already has a commitment to reduce emissions, become net-zero by 2060, and overcome the climate crisis. However, this commitment is not enough to overcome this climate crisis, several policy products issued by the government such as the Minerba Law, Food Estate, and the Omnibus Law are counter-productive to efforts to tackle the climate crisis,” explained Melissa Kowara, Extinction Rebellion Indonesia’s Activist.

Melissa also highlighted the lack of literacy about climate change for the wider community. This makes people seem silent or passive because they do not understand the context.

Anticipating rising emissions, Indonesia climate action is considered highly insufficient

Jakarta, 28 Oktober 2021Indonesia 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

Towards COP 26, Community Leaders Demand Climate Emergency Declaration

Jakarta, 19 October 2021Indonesia has updated its climate commitments through its Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) to achieve carbon neutrality by 2060 or sooner. Indonesia’s commitment which is ten years behind the target of the Paris Agreement implies the government’s unambitious efforts in responding to the climate crisis that threatens the lives of the Indonesian people.

Fabby Tumiwa, Executive Director of the Institute for Essential Services Reform (IESR) said that the problem of reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) should not be seen as a burden but as an opportunity to transform into a low carbon economy.

“Based on our study entitled Deep decarbonization of Indonesia’s energy system, deep decarbonization of the energy system in 2050 will bring greater economic benefits,” said Fabby in the webinar “Towards COP 26: Climate change and the role of the society to preserve the earth” held by IESR (19/10/2021).

Fabby added that the community will feel the economic benefits by the creation of new industrial opportunities that can absorb a larger workforce. Moreover, Indonesia’s energy prices will be more affordable by using cheaper renewable energy technologies and cleaner air. He said that the compatible climate ambitions with the Paris Agreement will lessen the threat of hydrometeorological disasters as a consequence of increasing the earth’s temperature exceeding 1.5 degrees Celsius.

Highlighting policies and the level of public literacy on the climate crisis, community leaders in the event stated that unintegrated climate-related policies and the lack of access to climate change information make the climate change mitigation efforts in Indonesia keep decelerating.

The absence of a climate emergency declaration by the government, according to Melissa Kowara, Activist, Extinction Rebellion Indonesia, indicates the government’s low level of seriousness in dealing with the climate crisis.

“There has not been a firm stance from the highest levels of the country to say that we are in a crisis. (There is no declaration that says-ed) that we will do everything by the private sector, civil society, and government to overcome problems that affect the lives and survival of all of us,” said Melissa. She said this is also the cause of low public literacy regarding climate change.

Muhammad Ali Yusuf, Chairman of the Nahdlatul Ulama Disaster Management and Climate Change Institute (LPBI NU), Nahdlatul Ulama (NU), also revealed that religious discourse in Indonesia itself is still far from ecological issues or climate change.

“Even if there is (climate discourse-ed), yet it is not the top priority issue. Therefore, climate change literacy is also necessary for religious leaders because religious life is impossible to prevail in the climate crisis,” he explained.

Furthermore, Jimmy Sormin, Executive Secretary for Witness and Integrity of Creation, Communion of Churches in Indonesia (PGI), encouraged religious leaders to play their role in increasing people’s understanding of climate issues by discussing them according to the local context.

“In the regions, the impacts of climate change, such as the emergence of new pests, crop failure, are experienced by the community, but they do not understand it. It is necessary to ‘rationalize’ it according to their perspective (the local community-ed),” said Jimmy.

Looking at the issue of climate change from a woman’s perspective, Mike Verawati Tangka, Secretary-General, Indonesian Women’s Coalition (KPI) believes that the climate change effect has a close impact on women’s lives. However, Mike regrets that environmental issues and change tend to be considered as masculine issues that override the role of women in caring for nature and advocating for climate issues.

“The impact of climate change is perceived the most laborious by women because our policies and systems are not prepared inclusively. Positive initiatives taken by women by advocating for climate change must also be recognized by the state,” said Mike