Coal holds significant importance for Indonesia, both as a consumer and as one of the world’s largest producers. As of 2022, Indonesia stands as the world’s third-largest coal producer, trailing only behind India and China. It also ranks among the globe’s leading coal exporters, having exported a total of 360.28 million tons, marking a 4.29% increase from the previous year. Looking ahead to 2023, the Indonesian government maintains ambitions for even higher coal production. The coal industry plays a pivotal role in the national economy. In 2022 alone, it contributed approximately 3.6% to the national GDP, accounted for 11.4% of the total export value, generated 1.8% of the national state revenue, and provided employment to 0.2% of the population.
On the other hand, coal demand is expected to decline due to the ongoing trend of transitioning towards renewable energy and the commitments outlined in the Paris Agreement, aimed at limiting temperature rise to below 1.5°C. According to IESR (2022) estimates, Indonesia’s total coal demand—both domestic and for export—is projected to decrease by approximately 10% after 2030, considering the country’s existing commitments. Furthermore, the Government of Indonesia has enacted Presidential Regulation No. 112 of 2022, which focuses on expediting the development of renewable energy sources for electricity generation. This regulation explicitly imposes a ban on the construction of coal-fired power plants, effective from 2030 onward. This national commitment is reinforced by the endorsement of the Just Energy Transition Partnership (JETP) agreement between Indonesia and the International Partners Group (IPG), as well as the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net-Zero (GFANZ). This alliance aims to mobilize a substantial USD 20 billion in funding to facilitate an just transition to clean energy, which includes provisions for the early retirement of coal power plants.
Indonesia possesses coal reserves totaling 33.37 billion tons, distributed across several provinces including East Kalimantan, South Sumatra, South Kalimantan, Central Kalimantan, and various other areas. While these regions reap benefits from the coal industry sector, they also endure significant drawbacks.
IESR’s study, “Redefining Future Jobs,” conducted in 2022, illustrates that the advantages accruing to coal-producing regions are disproportionate to the hardships faced by their inhabitants. Furthermore, many communities in the surrounding areas bear the brunt of injustices, encompassing unequal economic impacts, land degradation, and health risks. Addressing these inequities must be a central focus for the government as it formulates plans for future energy transition.
IESR conducted a study on the coal industry’s impact within coal-producing regions in Indonesia, focusing on two major coal-producing districts: Muara Enim and Paser. The study unveiled various forms of injustice experienced by communities residing near coal mining sites, encompassing economic, social, and environmental dimensions
Among the observed injustices in coal-producing areas are income disparities between residents, workers, and capital owners, local community asset loss, and a decline in quality of life around coal mines. Addressing these issues necessitates comprehensive solutions aimed at mitigating these injustices and fostering opportunities for positive change within communities, ensuring an just energy transition.
By proactively tackling these injustices, the government can ensure that the transition process remains just for all stakeholders. With the Indonesian government’s commitment to a greener energy transition, the need arises for comprehensive development planning that promotes inclusivity and participation, particularly in each of Indonesia’s coal-producing regions.
Therefore, IESR intends to host a launch event for the study results of the Just Energy Transition in Coal Producing Areas in Indonesia. This event will bring together the national government, various experts from academia, civil society organizations, and international organizations to engage in a dialogue about the impact of the coal industry and the necessary preparations for an just energy transition in Indonesia.
The launch of the study results has several objectives:
- Delivering the findings of IESR’s Just Energy Transition in Coal Producing Regions’ study to the public.
- Gathering input on the outcomes of the study ‘Just Energy Transition in Coal Producing Areas’ to create practical recommendations for relevant parties.
- Collecting inputs and recommendations from various stakeholders concerning just energy transition and the mapping of potential economic sectors in coal-producing areas.
Enhancing understanding by providing practical recommendations to key policymakers to support the achievement of an just energy transition in coal-producing regions in Indonesia.