Jakarta Post | Indonesia’s Call for Support in COP28 shows ‘No New’ Commitment

President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s call for more support from rich countries for their developing counterparts in tackling the climate crisis has left environmentalists unimpressed, who criticize the speech for “giving nothing new” despite global putting pressure on countries to do more to avoid the worst impacts of the crisis.

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Three Principles of Equity in Indonesia’s Energy Transformation

Marlistya Citraningrum, Manajer Program Akses Energi Berkelanjutan dalam Sustainability Media Academy pada Kamis (30/11).

Jakarta, November 30, 2023 – Indonesia, like many other countries, faces a critical turning point amid the global climate crisis. As a nation with abundant energy resources, the transition towards renewable energy is urgently necessary. However, this shift must prioritize fairness and equality for all. The energy transition must not solely focus on technical aspects but also consider the social, economic, and moral impacts on the affected communities. In Indonesia, this transition is not just a technical step, but also a moral obligation to ensure that every individual has equal rights in this change.

“We must examine three principles to achieve justice in the energy transition. The first principle is justice at the local level, where we need to take a closer look at which parties directly benefit from and are affected by the energy transition at the local level. For example, we need to assess whether the community around the mine is reaping any benefits from the energy transition,” said Marlistya Citraningrum,  Program Manager of Sustainable Energy Access, at the Sustainability Media Academy on Thursday (30/11).

Furthermore, Marlistya Citraningrum mentioned another principle from the authority perspective. This means that the community needs to see how the local government authority manages the transition. This includes the policies and regulations implemented to ensure fairness for all parties involved. Long-term justice must also be considered, which consists of the community’s participation in managing the future once the mining industry ends. During this time, the community’s welfare must be considered while ensuring the continuity of the economy.

During the energy transition process, it’s crucial to consider the availability of affordable, sustainable, and reliable energy. The instability in energy supply can hinder the achievement of sustainable development goals. Hence, it’s essential to establish a dependable energy system by investing in energy storage technologies, reliable distribution networks, and diversification of energy resources.

“To achieve a successful energy transition, it is crucial for the government, private sector, and communities to work together collaboratively. Education and community engagement programs can enhance people’s understanding of the significance of affordable, sustainable, and dependable energy. By enabling communities to participate in this transformation actively, positive outcomes can be experienced locally,” Marlistya said. 

Marlistya also emphasized that the government must involve more stakeholders, including indigenous peoples, women, youth, and other marginalized groups, in the planning and decision-making processes. This will ensure that all groups are treated equally and included in the opportunities created by the just transition. Social inclusion is also important to ensure that vulnerable groups have fair access to these opportunities.

“In addition to evidence-based policies, equitable energy principles should be applied through the GEDSI approach that emphasizes empathy and involvement in decision-making,” said Marlistya.

Engaging the Youth Generation on Energy Transition Issues

press release

Jakarta, November 24, 2023 – The impact of the climate crisis is increasingly felt as the earth’s temperature rises. The latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report states that the earth’s temperature has increased by 1.1°C in 2011-2020 compared to 1850-1900. Serious mitigation and climate action efforts must be carried out to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and keep temperatures from exceeding 1.5 degrees Celsius. One is transitioning energy from carbon-intensive energy, such as coal-fired energy, to renewable energy.

The Institute for Essential Services Reform (IESR) believes that the energy transition process needs to involve future generations, especially children and young people. Young people have a crucial role in ensuring sustainable development can run amid the challenges of climate change. They will also build a future that prioritizes using more environmentally friendly resources and economic growth that prioritizes environmental sustainability.

Farah Vianda, Coordinator of Sustainable Financing, IESR, at the Road to Youth Climate Conference (23/11), said that reducing fossil energy use requires government policy. Still, young people can also take individual actions that impact reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

“Every individual, especially children and young people, can be involved in taking concrete steps to mitigate the climate crisis. One of the main steps is to change daily habits, from using electricity and freon more wisely to reducing dependence on motor vehicles and buying products wisely. With these simple steps, young people can make a significant positive impact in mitigating the climate crisis,” said Farah.

Farah explained that the energy transition involves a fundamental shift in how we produce and consume energy. According to her, a strong foundation for the earth’s sustainability will be formed by emphasizing the use of more environmentally friendly resources. It is about technology and involves understanding and active participation from children and young people as future agents of change.

Rahmat Jaya Eka Syahputra, Program Officer of Energy Transformation, IESR, highlighted energy efficiency in energy transition by reducing unnecessary energy consumption. According to him, a strong understanding of carbon emission reduction will form the habit of calculating emissions and lead to low-carbon daily activities.

“Energy efficiency not only provides environmental benefits by reducing greenhouse gas emissions but can also provide economic benefits by saving individual energy costs. By actively participating through energy efficiency measures, individuals have taken part in their portion in addressing climate issues,” Rahmat explained.

Towards COP-28: Indonesia Needs to Speak Out for Concrete Action in Addressing the Climate Crisis

Jakarta, November 2, 2023 -The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Conference of the Parties (COP-28) is scheduled to take place in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE) from November 30 to December 12, 2023. Guntur, a policy analyst from the Coordinating Ministry for Maritime Affairs and Investment, has stated that the COP-28 meeting will include the first-ever global stocktake (GST) to evaluate the progress made in implementing the Paris Agreement.


“The GST is a crucial turning point for taking climate action in this critical decade, where the global community is aware that the implementation of the Paris Agreement is currently off track. For this reason, collaboration between various parties is needed in course-correcting efforts and improving solutions that are reflected in the results of the negotiations as well as in the COP28 Presidential Actions Agenda,” he explained at the Pijar Foundation Policy Playground event on Thursday (2/11/2023).


Guntur mentioned that COP28 is focused on several issues to fulfill the pillars of the Paris Agreement, particularly related to energy transition, especially renewable energy. Indonesia also continues to prepare the pavilion as soft diplomacy or diplomacy with a socio-cultural approach. This is also an effort to convey to the world the concrete steps and concrete actions that Indonesia has taken in reducing emissions and addressing climate change. In addition, Indonesia took the theme of climate action to be held in the Indonesian pavilion during the implementation of COP28. 


Arief Rosadi, Coordinator of Climate Diplomacy Institute for Essential Services Reform (IESR), said the climate crisis harms the world. Based on the UNFCCC report in 2022, global emissions will increase by almost 14% throughout this decade. The UNFCCC’s 2023 data shows that current policies will result in a temperature rise of 2.8°C by the end of the century.


“For this reason, Indonesia must take real action to address the climate crisis, and collective efforts are needed to address and deal with it by emphasizing the principle of Common But Differentiated Responsibilities and Respective Capabilities (CBDR-RC). There are currently various opportunities for young people to participate in international conventions despite possible challenges, such as closed processes and limited financial, regulatory, and logistical support. Citing data from the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication, most Indonesians feel morally obligated to protect the environment,” Arief said. 


Based on the agenda, Arief said, the delegation of the Republic of Indonesia (RI) will pay more attention to three global crises. These three crises, also known as the triple planetary crisis, include climate change, pollution, and biodiversity loss. These are significant global challenges that require bilateral and multilateral collaboration and cooperation to ensure that the Earth remains habitable for the future.

Implementation Check Methodology: a Much Needed Mechanism

New York, 21 September 2023 – The global community is urging global leaders to take serious actions to address climate change. During the COP 27 in Egypt, several countries renewed their commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and achieving net zero emission status. However, there are still gaps between commitment and implementation of policy and action to seize the determined target. 

To assess, rate, and monitor a country’s progress during the policy implementation, Climate Transparency, a global partnership of research organizations and NGO in the G20 countries, has developed a methodology to review policy implementation across four categories: legal status, institutions & governance, resourcing, and oversight.  

Yvonne Deng, Energy and Climate Strategy Expert from the 7Gen Consulting, emphasized the importance of having monitoring instruments to review current policy and its role to seize the climate target. 

“We (Climate Transparency) analyze the gap and go deeper to the sectoral approach to recommend what sectoral policy a country should take to pursue the ambition,” said Yvonne.

South Africa, one of the countries receiving global attention lately as the first recipient of Just Energy Transition Partnership funding. Guy Cunliffe, Energy System Researcher of the University of Cape Town explained that as a country receiving international assistance, South Africa needs to showcase accountability during implementation. 

“An implementation monitoring is critical to showcase success of the implementation and as a beneficiary country it is also a way to display progress of the committed project,” he said.

Guy added that as the first JETP recipient, South Africa has increased its climate ambition and tried to integrate significant renewable capacity to its grid. However, during the implementation, the country is experiencing a glitch in terms of electricity supply. This glitch ‘forces’ them to adjust the plan and policy while rapidly changing the energy market. This is only possible with continuous policy monitoring. 

Similar to South Africa, Indonesia, as one of the biggest coal producers, has its electricity generation dominated by coal. In 2022, Indonesia renewed its emission reduction target in enhanced NDC, from 29% to 31.89% (unconditional) and 41% to 43.2% (conditional).

Wira Agung Swadana, Green Economy Program Manager at the Institute for Essential Services Reform (IESR), noted that during the transition away from coal-dependency, there are still conflicting interests among stakeholders, primarily due to the government’s lack of clear guidance on the transition’s meaning and direction transition.

“Though Indonesia has increased ambition and target in its NDC, the enabling environment for the renewable energy developers is not attractive enough yet. There is still no clear incentive for the investors as well as the lengthy process,” Wira explained. 

The in progress New and Renewable Energy Bill (RUU EBET), though believed to provide a robust policy framework, is to some extent attempting to prolong the use of fossil fuels by including CCS technology in the renewable options.

Understanding the Context of Just Transition in Coal Region

Jakarta, 10 May 2023 – the global effort to move away from fossil-based power resources will lead to a transition away from coal. This transition not only brings a drastic change to coal production, but also the livelihoods and economic activity in the coal producing regions. 

Srestha Banerjee, director of the Just Transition program iForest India, during the webinar called “The Just Transition Toolbox for Coal Regions — Knowledge needs in the South-East-Asian context” emphasized that the transition issue is more of a political issue rather than a technical one. 

“India has appointed a task force to design a people centric solution for coal transition. Besides digging up community needs through dialogue and discussion, we need an example of good transition practices to boost people’s confidence,” Srestha explained.

Indonesia, the biggest coal exporter, experiences uncertainties in the coal transition supporting the just energy transition agenda. As the global price of coal soared last year, Indonesia faced a dilemma of whether to reduce coal production or stay in business as usual. 

Marlistya Citraningrum, program manager of Sustainable Energy Access, Institute for Essential Services Reform said that since last year, the Indonesian government has started to rely more on renewable energy in the PLN electricity planning, yet the implementation still faces challenges.

“Leaving coal altogether is seen as a much more difficult option as it directly impacts the economic situation and income of the region,” she said.

Citra, as she has always been called, added that during the planning phase, the government needs to understand the context of the transitions and its impact on the social economic aspect. Active listening is necessary to gain a more comprehensive understanding. 

Chalie Charoenlarpnopparut, associate professor, Sirindhorn International Institute of Technology, Thammasat University Thailand agreed that dialogue will be the key to bridging the gap between the needs to reach the emission reduction target and the social economic impact of leaving coal.

“We need to tell the communities that the disruption is going to happen no matter what, and we need to be prepared or else we will experience the more negative impact of the coal transition,” Charlie said.

Realizing that energy transition and coal transition in particular is a technically heavy and technocratic issue, gender mainstreaming during the process becomes more noteworthy. Chalie added that in Thailand, women’s involvement in the transition has started to be seen.

“Women have more of a sense of sustainability, so they are more eager to be involved during some action. While men are more involved in the research and academic side of the transition,” he said.

Strengthen Indonesia’s Commitment to Climate Change


Jakarta, December 6, 2022 – Nowadays, climate change in the world affects increasing the intensity of climate disasters and threatens human life and biodiversity. Thus, government commitment and concrete targets are needed to reduce emissions, like setting a more ambitious target in the Enhanced Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) document, which Indonesia submitted in September 2022. Its document contains an increase in the target for reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by around 2%.

Based on the latest NDC document, Indonesia will reduce emissions with an unconditional scenario of 31.8% and international assistance (conditional) of 43.2% in 2030. However, based on an assessment of Indonesia’s climate targets and ambitions by the Institute for Essential Services Reform (IESR) which is a member of the Climate Action Tracker (CAT), a consortium of three think tanks that monitors and assesses climate change policies in 39 countries and the European Union. IESR and CAT estimate that Indonesia’s NDC has not been linear, with a target of 1.5°C. It’s more robust numerically but still not driving further climate action. Indonesia is likely to achieve its targets (except forestry) without additional effort, while its emissions are almost double today. For this reason, Indonesia needs to update the Business-As-Usual Scenario (BAU) so that it is linear with more vital targets.

“Indonesia contributes to global warming. We need a more ambitious greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction target. The later we block GHG, the greater the risk of climate disaster. For example, floods and tornadoes indicate that the costs to deal with these situations are also higher, and an appropriate solution is needed. For this reason, we need to calculate the environmental costs for climate change mitigation and adaptation,” explained the Executive Director of IESR, Fabby Tumiwa, at the launch of the results of the CAT assessment of Indonesia’s climate action and policies.

Shahnaz Nur Firdausi, Energy, and Climate Researcher, IESR, stated renewable energy only account for 13.5% of the power generation mix in 2021. Indonesia needs to make substantial progress in meeting the 23% renewable energy target by 2025. Several studies have shown how Indonesia can increase its renewable energy potential far beyond current plans and supply 100% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2050.

“Although coal still plays a major role in Indonesia’s electricity system, the government has planned to discontinue the PLTU. However, to meet the temperature limit of 1.5°C, coal use in Indonesia must decrease by 10% by 2030 and be phased out by 2040. Indonesia will need significant financial support to plan for the retirement of PLTU under the Paris Agreement,” Shanaz explained.

Deputy Director for Environmental Law Enforcement at National Development Planning Agency (Bappenas), Erik Armundito, emphasized that his party has a low-carbon development policy. It’s integrated with the national priorities of the 2020-2024 RPJMN, complemented by strategy indicators and clear targets every year.

“The macro indicators mean percentage of potential GHG reduction with a target of 27.3% in 2024 and the percentage of reduction in GHG intensity with 31.6% in 2024. Setting this target is Indonesia’s step forward in environmental preservation. In addition, Bappenas has the AKSARA application for monitoring, evaluating, and controlling the reduction of GHG emissions resulting from low-carbon development,” explained Erik.

Madani Foundation Executive Director Nadia Hadad said collaboration between various parties is needed to encourage the achievement of the 1.5°C targets. Various parties must have a role and contribute.

“We all have a role. This CAT report is not to criticize but to encourage better steps. Everything we have done to save the earth; for this, we need accountability and transparency,” said Nadia Hadad.

Mahawan Karuniasa, Chair of the Indonesian Network of Climate Change and Forestry Experts (APIKI), said carbon emissions produced by all countries in the world are projected to be no more than 33 gigatonnes in 2030 to keep the earth’s temperature no more than 1.5°C. However, the estimated carbon emissions produced reach 58 gigatonnes.

“If there is NDC implementation in all countries, then the estimated emissions can decrease to 53-56 gigatonnes in 2030. It means there is still a huge gap between 20-23 gigatonnes. When all countries, including Indonesia, cannot fill this gap, we can reach above 1.5°C,” said Mahawan.

Sonny Mumbunan, an economist and researcher from the Research Center for Climate Change at the University of Indonesia, believes it is also necessary to discuss the climate finance section in depth in the Climate Action Tracker report.

“When Indonesia became a member of the G20 with the narrative of having high economic growth, this became a dilemma for Indonesia. Remember, Indonesia also still needs funds from other countries. It also affects how we approach the energy sector, the land-based sector as well as the loss and damage sector. It seems that Indonesia needs a different approach based on its profile, which is between developed and developing countries,” said Sonny.

Climate Action Tracker is an independent scientific analysis initiative that tracks countries’ climate actions and measures them against the globally agreed Paris Agreement goal of holding warming well below 2°C and pursuing efforts to limit warming to 1.5°C. CAT has provided an independent analysis of around 40 countries since 2009. CAT members include Climate Analytics, the New Climate Institute, and the Institute for Essential Services Reform (IESR), which joined as partners in 2022.

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.