Capacity Building for Sub National Government in the Era of Just Transition

Jakarta, 26 October 2023 – The energy transition currently being discussed will have a significant impact on the use of fossil fuels such as coal. Various countries have committed to reducing the use of fossil fuels as one of the key actions in their energy transition. Fossil producing countries such as Indonesia need to be aware of this, because there will be a decrease in demand from the global market.

South Sumatra and East Kalimantan are the largest coal producing areas in Indonesia. Coal has become a key component in the economic growth of both provinces. In 2022, coal will contribute 30-35% to East Kalimantan’s GRDP and 15% in South Sumatra. These two provinces need a special strategy to get rid of economic dependence on coal. Stefan Boessner, a researcher at the Stockholm Environmental Institute (SEI) in the “National Workshop on a Just Transition: Building Government Capacity for a Sustainable Coal Transition in Indonesia” said that economic alternatives are available and can be developed.

“There have been examples of a region successfully diversifying its economy. The government will need capacity building support from the central government,” he said.

Stefan added that the Indonesian government has started to create a policy framework that will become the legal basis for the energy transition in Indonesia, such as a net zero emission target, regulations on the economic value of carbon, as well as a roadmap for early retirement for coal-fired power plants.

In preparing for this transition, development, economic and energy planning are very important. Involvement of various elements that will be affected by the transition become crucial.

Martha Jessica, Social and Economic Analyst at the Institute for Essential Services Reform (IESR) explained that one of the initial findings of the study currently being conducted by IESR is that there is a capacity gap between the central government and regional governments so that this transition planning is not considered optimal.

“To have a proper planning process, various superior/adequate capacities are needed by the government as the initiator (early actor) and catalyst of the energy transition,” said Martha.

Elisa Arond, SEI researcher, added that regional governments can play a crucial role in supporting a just transition agenda. To do all this, of course local governments will need a certain amount of support from the central government.

“They (sub-national governments-ed) need financial support from both the central government and international institutions, inclusive dialogue involving actors with diverse backgrounds, funding strategies, and transparent access to information about mine closure plans,” explained Elisa.

Tavip Rubiyanto, Associate Expert Policy Analyst as Coordinator of Energy and Mineral Resources, Directorate General of Regional Development, Ministry of Home Affairs, explained why currently the energy transition is not yet underway in the regions because regional authority is still limited.

“For this reason, the Ministry of Home Affairs has initiated the preparation of Presidential Decree no. 11 of 2023 to strengthen regional authority in carrying out government affairs in the ESDM sector, especially in the renewable energy sub-sector,” he said.

Brilian Faisal, representative of the South Sumatra Province Planning Office Bappeda, expressed the hope that the concept of a just energy transition must be related to access and infrastructure.

“In our regions we have not yet made derivative regulations from various regulations related to the energy transition because to make them we need to revise the RUED, which most of the authority is mostly in the MEMR sector,” said Brilian.

Wira Agung Swadana, IESR Green Economy Program Manager stated that this workshop was the right moment to prepare the RPJMN and RPJMD which must include the coal transition agenda.

“This transition requires several things such as planning and funding and must be included in the regional development agenda so that it can receive funding from the government,” said Wira.

Realizing Energy Democratization through Solar Energy

Jakarta, 5 October 2023 – Energy is a basic human need not only to support daily activities but more importantly to increase productive activities. Solar energy is a renewable energy source that can realize energy democratization.

Solar energy fulfills several aspects for the democratization of energy such as the availability of resources throughout the year, and the flexibility of the scale of installation. For a nobler goal, by installing solar panels, users contribute to reducing emissions from the energy sector. These various reasons show that motivations for using solar PV can vary.

This is in line with the findings of a market survey conducted by the Institute for Essential Services Reform (IESR), one of which explored respondents’ motivations for using solar PV. Marlistya Citraningrum, IESR Sustainable Energy Access Program Manager, in the Seminar ‘Solar Energy Policy and Action Plan as a Form of NRE Commitment towards Indonesia’, Thursday 5 October 2023, explained that motivations can vary from one region to another.

“MSMEs in Central Java choose rooftop PV because they are interested in the savings so that their electricity bill money can be allocated to other things. Meanwhile, business people in Bali have a high awareness of maintaining harmony with nature. “Apart from that, they will get positive branding as an environmentally friendly business entity,” said Marlistya.

To increase public interest in using solar energy, several things need to be done by stakeholders, including the government, in creating an ecosystem that supports the growth of renewable energy.

Three things that must be pursued to encourage participation by more parties are first, regulations that are clear and supportive and well communicated so that the public gets information about rooftop PV regulations easily and without confusion. Second, there are examples of users and easy access to service providers; third, provide incentives and increase access to financing.

In the same forum, Dedi Rustandi, Intermediate Expert Planner Coordinator for NRE at the Ministry of Bappenas stated that solar energy achievements were still below RUPTL target.

“There are a number of main causes, including the pandemic which has prevented electricity demand from growing significantly, there is uncertainty in the investment climate for the business, as well as delays in project procurement (related to governance),” said Dedi.

Dedi admitted that there are still a number of inefficient policies, resulting in the use of solar energy not being optimal in Indonesia.

IESR: Indonesia Needs Comprehensive Package Policy for Energy Transition

Jakarta, 27 June 2023 – The urgency to shift energy transition into a cleaner, more sustainable one has become increasingly crucial, as highlighted by the IPCC synthesis reports, which states that global temperature has already increased 1.1 degree Celsius. Energy, as the driver of economic growth, has been a key factor in economic activities since the very beginning of fossil minerals mining. However, transitioning to cleaner energy systems brings consequences of decreased coal demand, posing a serious threat to regions heavily reliant on the coal economy.

Fabby Tumiwa, Executive Director of the Institute for Essential Services Reform during the panel discussion of the ASEAN Sustainable Energy Finance on Tuesday, 27 June 2023, emphasized the situation in several provinces in Indonesia which need to consider alternative economic streams, as their local revenue currently comes from coal mining-related activity.

“We need to pay attention to some provinces such as East Kalimantan, which produces 40% of Indonesian coal, and South Sumatera which produces 15%. We need to build local capacity to generate revenue from sectors other than coal,” Fabby said.

Fabby added that the government needs to prepare a comprehensive package of transition finance. The funding should cover not only the technical costs, such as retiring coal fleet, development of renewable energy, improving the grid, but also preparing the community, particularly those employed in the coal mining industry, to adapt into the new labor market. It includes the reskilling and retraining to align their skill with market demand.

“The national government must provide special assistance for regions heavily reliant on coal economics,” Fabby emphasized.

Eunjoo Park-Minc, Senior Advisor on Financial Institutions Southeast Asia of Financial Futures Centre (FFC), agreed on the significant role of government during the transition, especially in designing a supportive policy framework which enables the private sector to participate.

“The role of the investors during this transition time is to develop innovative financing mechanisms. To make it more catalytic, we need a supportive policy framework to make it work,” she said.

Besides that, Eunjoo pointed out the need for international cooperation, as most of the (transition) projects are taking place in the developing countries while the financing primarily comes from the developed countries. 

The Asian Development Bank (ADB), as one of the multilateral banks financing the energy transition emphasized the importance of justness aspects. This is explained by Veronica Joffre, Senior Gender and Social Development Specialist at ADB. 

“One of the aspects of ETM (Energy Transition Mechanisms) is the justness. It means potential social impact should be assessed and managed, including employment, supply chains, and the environment,” said Veronica.

She added that as achieving net-zero emissions is the path for the future, the transition towards that direction should be consciously designed.

Public Discussion Making Energy Green and Low Carbon to Support Sustainable Growth: Advancing the Role of Civil Society in Southeast Asia Energy Transition Cooperation during Indonesia ASEAN Chairmanship 2023

Background

After having the opportunity to host the G20 last year, this time Indonesia has taken the mantle of ASEAN Chairmanship in 2023, which was previously held by Cambodia. This is the fourth time for Indonesia to take the chairmanship position of ASEAN, where the core theme is ASEAN Matters: Epicentrum of Growth”. Within this theme, the Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi mentioned that there will be two elements highlighted by the Indonesian government during its leadership, which are the increasing relevance of ASEAN both inside and outside of the region, as well as transforming ASEAN to be the center of global economic growth (Ministry of Trade, 2023). Retno also emphasized that the Myanmar issues–which have been a thorn in the flesh during rounds of ASEAN negotiations–should not “hold the ASEAN community development process hostage” and Indonesia will embrace its leadership role with optimism and positive outlook (Kementerian Luar Negeri, 2023).

Indonesia’s chairmanship in ASEAN 2023 will also carry over several priorities of last year’s G20, such as digital transformation, sustainable energy, and global economic recovery. Several issue priorities on energy formulated by the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources are closely related to the ASEAN Power Grid plan, a regional electricity interconnectivity project as an effort to maintain the stability of energy supply in ASEAN (ESDM, 2023). In regards to the climate change issue, Indonesia has been appointed as the chair of ASEAN Working Groups on Chemicals and Waste for 2022-2024. Within this working group framework, there is an ASEAN Plus Three Cooperation Work Plan which covers the issues of marine waste, climate change, biodiversity, and sustainable cities (Media Indonesia, 2022).

The Indonesia ASEAN Chairmanship in 2023 will be a challenging one, since ASEAN as an institution is currently under scrutiny that came from both inside and outside the region. According to a survey conducted by ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute (2022), around 82,6% ASEAN citizens considered ASEAN is starting to become irrelevant and inefficient in carrying out its role as a regional organization. The same survey also reported that 73% ASEAN citizens felt that ASEAN is currently an arena for major power’s struggle for influence. It is worried that ASEAN Member States will be major power proxies. Therefore, a collaborative enterprise is needed to strengthen the institutional capacity of ASEAN. With the success of its G20 presidency last year, it is hoped that Indonesia chairmanship will result with an ASEAN that is more adaptable to the pressing issues of the century, including energy transition and climate change.

In advancing Indonesia’s chairmanship in ASEAN 2023, Institute of Essential Services Reform will hold a public discussion targeted for civil society organizations in all ASEAN Member States, especially in the climate and energy sector. This public discussion is held with the objective to introduce the priority issues of Indonesia’s ASEAN Chairmanship 2023 and the decision-making process of ASEAN as an institution. Hence, it is expected that this event will be a platform for CSOs to actively voice their aspirations to ASEAN and also a chance to strengthen the CSOs network in ASEAN.

 

Objectives

  1. Introduction to the agendas of Indonesia ASEAN Chairmanship 2023, particularly on the issue stream of energy transition and climate change.
  2. Explanation of the ASEAN decision-making structure and how civil society can partake in the process.
  3. Exploring the aspirations and perception of civil society organizations in ASEAN Member States on the agenda of Indonesia ASEAN Chairmanship 2023.

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.

C20 Urges Utilities Companies in G20 to Implement Energy Transition

press release
From left to right: Vivian Lee (SFOC), Fabby Tumiwa (IESR), Federico Lopez De Alba (CFE), Dennis Volk (BNetza), Philippe Benoit (Columbia University) photo by IESR

Bali, 30 August 2022 – As the main contributor to GHG emissions in the energy sector, Civil of Twenty (C20) Indonesia urges power utility companies to set inevitable targets, and a clear climate mitigation roadmap to reach zero emission by 2050. Civil of Twenty (C20) Indonesia invited energy experts and representatives from G20 power utility companies to discuss and urge the long-term strategy proposed by these power utility companies to accelerate the clean energy transition in their respective countries so as to align with the 1.5C pathway.

Risnawati Utami, the Sous-Sherpa of C20 Indonesia, in her opening remarks emphasized the importance of Indonesia’s leadership to promote and engage all civil societies to influence the commitment and policy of the countries’ members to adopt the human rights principles and international cooperation in mitigating the climate risks.

“The role of international cooperation recognizes the government’s responsibility to work together internationally, to urge implementation plans and strategies to reduce climate risks,” said Utami in the webinar of C20 titled “Role of G20 Power Utilities in Climate Mitigation Efforts”.

The COP27 High-Level Champion, Mahmoud Mohieldin stated about 800 million people in the world are still living without electricity access. He said that solutions to overcome the energy problem and mitigate the climate crisis are the availability of adequate policy, effective implementation, localization and financing.

“The Paris Agreement needs to be aligned and integrated with the SDG framework, otherwise we are going to be suffering from a bad refabrication and partial approach,” said Moheildin.

He expected that in COP27 which will be held in Egypt, more countries will come up with a more holistic approach towards sustainability focusing on the implementation and projectization ideas and initiatives and more of emphasis on the regional dimension, localization, and finance.

Fabby Tumiwa, Co-chair of C20 Indonesia and Executive Director of the Institute for Essential Services Reform (IESR) stated that as Indonesia holds the G20 Presidency, it should take bold action in orchestrating its power utility to implement energy transition. 

“Every country has to find its own way to deal with energy transition. The utility is facing serious challenges, such as climate change impacting the operation of the energy system, customer demands more renewable electricity at an affordable price, the workforce needs to upgrade with the current skill of renewable energy, regulation to limit carbon emissions, new technology is coming up that creates uncertainty in current utility business model,” said Fabby.

Fabby added that utilities need to adapt faster since there is limited time left to combat the climate crisis. Learning and skill shares among G20 members are crucial for utilities able to implement the solution immediately.

Philippe Benoit from Global Energy Policy, Columbia University presented that as State-owned Power Companies (SPCs) play a significant role in reducing GHG emissions, the government needs to reform it by influencing SPCs with policy options and targeted interventions directly and indirectly.

“The government can support SPC low carbon action by making resources available to SPC and advocacy, external pressure. But I would say, the easiest for a government that is committed to climate policy is to exercise the government shareholder power. For example, formal directive through Board resolutions and instructions, senior management appointments and dismissals,” said Benoit.

He added that other reformations of SPC include resourcing SPC low carbon actions with clear, consistent government direction, financing, complimentary or associated infrastructure, administrative support and capacity building for SPCs.

“SPCs need to participate in low carbon transition, as partners, not adversaries, and as enablers, not just producers. Empowering SPC low carbon action is key to achieving national and global climate goals,” he said.

Joojin Kim, Managing Director of Solutions for Our Climate (SFOC) offered a G20 outlook on accommodating more renewables in the power system. 

“We are in a pivotal moment and state utilities in the G20 must show leadership to unite the international community around solutions to the climate crisis. Many G20 nations, especially in Asia, are experiencing significant curtailment of renewables. Amid the present global energy situation, curtailment poses further uncertainty and economic loss. To address such challenges, countries must establish a governance framework that will ensure fair access and compensation for technologies that contribute to grid flexibility in order to reduce fossil fuel expenditure and increase renewable energy in the power mix,” said Joojin.

Evy Haryadi, Director of Corporate Planning of Perusahaan Listrik Negara (PLN), Indonesia, stated that achieving Indonesia’s net-zero target by 2060 by phasing out coal and developing renewable energy needs enormous investment. 

“Indonesia needs around USD 600 billion investment for carbon neutrality by 2060. We need support from international funders. However, for early retirement initiatives, the energy transition financing scheme is not existing in the market but is green financing. Transition financing still needs some regulatory framework, especially in international financing,” said Evy Haryadi. 

This event is organized by the C20 working group of environment, climate justice, and energy transition (ECEWG). C20 is one of the engagement groups under the G20 which represents civil society voices and concerns.

Preparing the Workforce That Will Be Affected by Reduced Demand of Fossil Energy

Jakarta, July 6, 2022 – The global commitment to reduce the use of fossil energy, as well as the increasing climate ambitions of coal-using countries such as China, Japan, South Korea, the United States, the European Union and South Africa have caused global coal demand to fall significantly.

As one of the largest coal exporting countries in the world, Indonesia needs to pay close attention to this. Coal contributes a lot to national non-tax revenues (PNBP), for coal-producing regions, the role of coal commodities for regional income can be very large.

The Institute for Essential Services Reform (IESR) tries to see the implications of the policy of eliminating coal use and the global and domestic climate on the Indonesian economy, especially for workers in the sector through the study “Redefining Future Jobs: Implication of Coal Phase-Out to the Employment Sector and Economic Transformation in Indonesia’s Coal Region”.

This study also aims to see opportunities for economic transformation in coal-dependent areas and provide better welfare for workers. Julius Christian, the author of this study, explained that data from the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources showed that in 2020 there were 167,380 workers in the coal mining sector. Demographically, these workers are on average under 40 years old, so they will still be of productive age in the next 10 years.

“In terms of the workforce, because most of them are young, there is an opportunity to conduct training in preparation for entering other industries,” said Julius.

Preparing for economic transformation after the coal economy era is full of challenges but must be done. This is to anticipate the demand for coal which could drop more drastically. Fabby Tumiwa, Executive Director of IESR stated that if the countries of the world had more ambitious climate action to pursue the Paris agreement targets, there would be a 20% reduction in coal demand by 2030, 60% by 2040 and 90% by 2050.

“This decline in production must also be anticipated because it will definitely affect the absorption of labor in the coal sector,” Fabby reminded.

Hendra Sinadia, Executive Director of APBI ICMA (Indonesian Coal Miners Association), also added that to target workers who are potentially affected, it is necessary to map coal reserves by company.

“So that the transformation process is effective and efficient, we can map the reserves for each company so that we can see how long their operating life will be. For small companies, maybe in 2030-2040 their operational period will be finished so it can be prioritized for their workers to receive training,” explained Hendra who was present virtually at the focused group discussion launching the study “Redefining the Future Job”.

C20 Indonesia Urge for a Just Energy Transition

Jakarta, 30 June 2022 – Energy transition is one of the priority issues of Indonesia’s 2022 G20 presidency. This role as the leader of the G20 countries is certainly a strategic momentum for Indonesia to show its commitment to the energy transition. The Paris Agreement in 2015 agreed to limit the earth’s temperature increase to no more than 2 degrees Celsius, even trying to keep it at the level of 1.5 degrees. For this reason, all parties must reduce their emissions from high-emission sectors such as energy and achieve carbon neutral status by the middle of this century.

To explore various perspectives on energy transition, the Civil 20 engagement group held a workshop entitled “Making a Just Energy Transition for All” inviting other engagement groups i.e: Think 20 (T20), Science 20 (S20) and Business 20 (B20). Also present as a panelist, Widhyawan Prawiraatmadja, former governor of Indonesia for OPEC.

From the ongoing discussion, all the speakers agreed to put the human aspect as the axis of the energy transition. Vivian Sunwoo Lee, International Coordinator of C20, said that C20 continues to urge the importance of immediately shifting from fossil-based energy systems to renewable energy-based energy systems.

“There are a number of risks, especially from a financial and economic perspective, from fossil energy infrastructure that has the potential to become a stranded asset if we don’t hurry to make the energy transition,” he said. Vivian also highlighted the large fossil energy subsidies that are still being provided by the G20 countries.

Professor Yunita Winarto, co-chair of Task Force 5 S20 stated the importance of an interdisciplinary approach in planning and implementing energy transitions.

“The interdisciplinary approach will shift the paradigm from exploitative-extractive to environmentally friendly-resilient, from a linear economy to a circular economy, and from good governance to proper governance. That way, a balance will undoubtedly be created according to the principles of the planet, people, & prosperity for all,” Yunita explained.

Moekti H. Soejachmoen, Lead co-chair of Task Force 3 T20, explained the importance of the carbon economic value instrument in the context of energy transition.

“The growth in energy demand will definitely continue to grow. It is inevitable, so we have to look for various ways to fulfill this energy need, but on the other hand our need to reduce emissions is also achieved. So this carbon economic value instrument is important,” explained Moekti.

Moekti also added that it was important for Indonesia to ensure that the issues pushed in this year’s G20 presidency would still be discussed in the following years. Given the energy transition is a long process and takes years.

The energy transition will completely change the face of Indonesia’s energy sector. Oki Muraza, Policy Manager of the Task Force Energy Sustainability and Climate, B20, explained that the affordability factor should be one of the main considerations in making the energy transition.

“We have to ensure that the affordability factor of energy during this transition process can be maintained. In addition, we also need to pay attention to people who are currently working in the hydrocarbon sector, how they can be trained so they don’t lose their jobs in the energy transition,” explained Oki.

Widhyawan Prawiraatmadja reminded that it is necessary to harmonize perceptions, rules and policies at the ministry level related to energy transition and the achievement of Indonesia’s commitments in the international level such as NDC. This is in addition to accelerating the achievement of national and international targets, as well as to give the same signal to investors.

“If the signals sent to investors are mixed, the perception of investors is that the risk of investing in Indonesia is high, and it is not impossible to make them reconsider investing,” said Widhyawan.

Local Government Has a Great Potential to Develop Regional Bonds for Green Development

Apart from the APBN (National Income and Expenditure Budget) and APBD (Regional Income and Expenditure Budget), local governments can now innovate to finance its infrastructure spending, especially those related to Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), by issuing regional bonds and/or regional sukuk as a source of sustainable finance.

Istiana Maftuchah, Representative of the OJK (Financial Services Authority) in the online workshop Introduction to Sustainable Finance and Regional Bonds held by the Institute for Essential Services Reform (IESR), supported by the British Embassy Jakarta (9/3), explained in detail.

“The global push has been felt until now as we are facing the Covid-19 pandemic. The direction of the financial services industry has been aimed towards sustainability, and now there has been a paradigm shift: People, Profits, Planet,” said Istiana.

In her opinion, this development is connected to Indonesia’s commitment to the SDGs and also the Paris Agreement, which has been ratified in Law no. 16/2016. She emphasized that investors’ interest in green products is getting bigger and is not only focused on profit.

Istiana explained that there is an opportunity for green investment to become a global trend in emerging countries, up to USD 23 trillion, for renewable energy, transportation, waste processing, and green building sectors.

“We need around IDR 67 trillion to fulfill the investment and financing needs of Indonesia’s SDGs (2020-2030), consisting of 62% from the government and 38% from non-government,” said Isti.

To achieve this target, OJK issued a road map for sustainable finance, including the issuance of OJK Regulation (POJK) 51/03/2017 about the Implementation of Sustainable Finance for Financial Service Institutions, Issuers, and Public Companies and POJK 60/04/2017 concerning Issuance and Securities Requirements Environmental Friendly Debt (Green Bond).

“POJK 60 is securities and debt, the results of which will fund environmentally friendly activities. There are 11 categories of environmentally friendly activities, we add one sector, i.e MSMEs, so a total of 12 environmentally friendly activities, “added Istiana.

On the same occasion, Ferike Indah Arika, Young Expert Policy Analyst, Center for Climate Change and Multilateral Policy (PKPPIM), Fiscal Policy Agency, Ministry of Finance discussed the need for innovative funding for green development.

Ferike said that since 2016, the Ministry of Finance has identified government budgets aimed at controlling climate change, as well as to measure and evaluate the budgeting. The average spending of ministries and agencies on climate change reached up to IDR 86.7 trillion.

“That is a large number, which is equivalent to 34% of the financing needs for climate change mitigation in the Second Biennial Update Report (Rp. 266.2 trillion per year),” she said.

Given the very limited state budget for Indonesia, and to attract green investment flows to Indonesia, the Ministry of Finance has issued a fiscal policy to control climate change. It includes 3 (three) policies; the state income policy, state spending policy, and financing policy.

Ferike explained that in the state income policy, the most significant change was the tax holiday facility in which previously the percentage of tax reduction was 10-100%, now it is 100%. Besides, the period of the tax holiday has been shifted from originally 5-15 years to become 20 years depending on the investment value.

From the aspect of financing policy, the Ministry of Finance issued a Sovereign Green Sukuk to finance the government’s climate change mitigation and adaptation projects.

“In early 2018, we issued the 1st Global Green Sukuk worth USD 2.25 billion. Meanwhile, in November 2020, the issuance of Green Sukuk reached the value of Rp. 5.42 trillion,” said Ferike.

Furthermore, the Ministry of Finance is considering the application of Carbon Pricing, among others, to promote sustainable growth and encourage Green Investment.

“Regulations related to Carbon Pricing are currently under discussion coordinated by the Coordinating Ministry for Maritime Affairs, and the regulation will be in the form of a Presidential Decree,” she said.

 

Local Government Opportunities to Use Regional Bonds for Green Development

 

Simon Saimima, Head of Sub-Directorate for Special Allocation Funds (DAK), Directorate of Regional Balancing Funds and Regional Loan Facilitation, Directorate General of Regional Financial Development, Ministry of Internal Affairs, explained about Green Bonds or Regional Bonds.

Following the regional bond issuance policy, Simon explained that it is a regional right to provide regional loans in synchronization with the Regional Medium Term Development Plan (RPJMD) and related regulations. Furthermore, regional loans will be repaid from the local government in the form of bonds on the capital market. Green Bonds or bonds are included in the long-term loan category.

Simon explained that the capital market issues the bonds. However, the guarantor is the local government in the form of assets and activities in certain provinces carrying out. The regions are responsible for all risks resulting from the issuance of these bonds.

To follow the procedures, the regional head and the Regional House of Representatives (DPRD) must approve the issuance of bonds. The Regional Representative Council (DPD) was also involved in the process.

“There are 9 (nine) required documents for regional bonds, and these must be fulfilled to meet the requirements of the Ministry of Internal Affairs,” he said.

Bonds that have been issued are the obligation of the local government to pay the loan principal and coupons by the agreement. If the local government fails to pay, they will also receive administrative sanctions.

Russell Marsh, Green Finance Lead, ASEAN Low Carbon Energy Program Ernst and Young, in his presentation, explained that although the need for sustainable funding is increasing, there are many identified challenges found in its development.

First, the lack of awareness and understanding of Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) risks and the importance of sustainable finance both from the demand and supply side. Second, there is a lack of constant definitions, measurements, standards, and disclosures so that financial services institutions can evaluate potential sustainable projects and so that project owners can prepare supporting documents. Third, there is a lack of coordination between stakeholders in implementing regulations. Fourth, green bonds may not create “additionality”, for example, the projects that are financed to support environmentally friendly purposes but these projects were not previously financed. 

There are several solutions that Russell offers, i.e providing incentives for sustainable finance, developing transitional finance, and increasing understanding and building the capacity of financial service institutions and project owners.

 

Constraints of Local Government and Financial Institutions in Issuing of Bonds to Support Green Development

 

Present as speakers at the workshop on the second day (10/3) were Darwin Trisna Djajawinata, Operations & Finance Director of PT Sarana Multi Infrastruktur (SMI); and Rahul Sheth, Executive Director, Head of Sustainable Bonds at Standard Chartered Bank.

In his presentation, Darwin shared valuable information on the criteria for projects that were eligible to get financial support from financial institutions. The feasibility of a project to be financed depends on several things, for example, whether an infrastructure project is included in the Regional Medium Term Development Plan (RPJMD).

“For projects aimed to fulfill the rights and empower the poor, much more mature planning is needed because this financing is a loan, and it is impossible to impose this loan on the poor, so the regional government must repay the loan. Well, these schemes need to be planned carefully, “said Darwin

The ability of the regions to see potential sectors for development, compile proposals and manage debt will determine the confidence of financial institutions. Especially regarding the issuance procedure of municipal bonds which are very dependent on the track record of the region in managing debt.

“The issuance of municipal bonds depends on the ability of the regions to manage their debts well, and currently there are not many regions that can manage their debts properly,” added Darwin.

Rahul Sheth, Executive Director, Head of Sustainability from Standard Chartered Bank added that the readiness of the regions to issue these bonds varies. Regions that will issue bonds for the first time need more careful preparation. Financial Institutions usually have 2 types of bonds that are commonly issued to finance projects with specific issues, i.e green bonds to finance projects related to the environment and climate, and social bonds to finance social community projects such as infrastructure, access to finance for MSMEs.

“The social bond market is one of the largest,” said Rahul. This shows great potential for local governments to develop regional bonds. At the end of his presentation, Rahul answered questions from the participant, Yugo from Bank South Kalimantan, about the challenges that often arise when issuing bonds.

“Data and data automation are challenges that often come. When the data is complete, various things can be done and monitored automatically, such as taxes, balances, and other financial reports. Data collection and data management are critical processes in this industry,” concluded Rahul.

Participants shared some of the obstacles in issuing regional bonds regarding regulations such as the sovereign guarantee that is given only to State-Owned Enterprises (BUMN), not Regional-Owned Enterprises (BUMD), which automatically makes it harder for local governments to plan bond issuance for strategic projects.