The Decline of Indonesia’s Climate Policy and Action Rating in 2023

Delima Ramadhani, Climate Policy Project Coordinator, IESR presents the results of the CAT assessment of Indonesia’s climate policies, targets and actions

Jakarta, January 31, 2024 – According to the Climate Action Tracker (CAT) report, the climate policies, actions, and targets outlined in Indonesia’s 2023 Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) document as “critically insufficient” to limit global temperatures  to below 1.5 degrees Celsius. This represents a decline from 2022 when Indonesia was rated as “highly insufficient.”

The Institute for Essential Services Reform (IESR), a collaborator with CAT, has disclosed that Indonesia, rated as “critically insufficient” under the Enhanced NDC target, could potentially release greenhouse gas emissions of 1,800 million tons of carbon dioxide equivalent for the unconditional target and 1,700 million tons of carbon dioxide equivalent for the conditional target by 2030. This estimation excludes emissions from the forestry and land sectors.

Fabby Tumiwa, Executive Director of IESR, attributed Indonesia’s downgrade to “critically insufficient” to the escalating use of coal in downstream mining. He stressed that the lowest CAT rating implies that the existing climate targets and policies would result in global emissions surges surpassing 4 degrees Celsius.

“Indonesia requires concrete and measurable actions to transition from fossil energy and expedite the shift to renewable energy in the coming decade,” Fabby stated during his remarks at the launch of the Climate Action Tracker Assessment Indonesia and Climate Transparency Implementation Check reports, organized by IESR on January 30. 

Throughout the 2022-2023 period, the Indonesian government has made progress in climate mitigation actions, notably by promoting the development of renewable energy through Presidential Regulation (Perpres) No. 112/2022 concerning the Acceleration of Renewable Energy Development for Electricity Supply. Additionally, the government has made positive commitments to achieving the 2030 net zero and FOLU net sink targets. Ambitious policies are needed to realize them.

The rise in emissions in 2022 amounts to approximately 200 million tons of carbon dioxide equivalent, with increased coal consumption being a contributing factor. Emissions from captive power plants, those operated by utility companies outside of PLN, are anticipated to contribute to a further increase of around 100 million tons by 2030. Indonesia’s current climate policy would result in the country reaching an emissions level of 1,487-1,628 MtCO2e (excluding the forest and land sector) by 2030.

Moreover, Indonesia has committed to the Just Energy Transition Partnership (JETP), aiming for a renewable energy mix exceeding 34% by 2030. However, it is noted that the JETP falls short of aligning Indonesia with the targets set in the Paris Agreement.

Delima Ramadhani, Climate Policy Project Coordinator at IESR, explained that to meet the Paris Agreement standards, emissions from the electricity sector must decrease to 140-150 million tons of carbon dioxide equivalent by 2030, ultimately reaching zero emissions by 2040.

“Indonesia needs to adopt key reforms as outlined in the comprehensive investment planning and policy (CIPP) document of the Just Energy Transition Partnership (JETP) and formulate and implement an ambitious decarbonization pathway for off-grid (captive) power plants,” explained Delima.

Considering the significance of the electricity sector and its potential for strategic decarbonization, IESR also assessed the implementation of the National Electricity General Plan (RUKN) policy. This policy serves as Indonesia’s primary reference for domestic electricity development and can be utilized for monitoring and evaluating renewable energy progress. Akbar Bagaskara, IESR’s Electricity System Analyst, explained that the overall assessment of the RUKN is “medium,” indicating that while it has a clear legal basis, namely MEMR Regulation No. 143/2019, there are numerous implementation challenges, including the consistent failure to achieve the annual renewable energy mix target.

“Indonesia’s challenges in meeting the annual targets for the renewable energy mix should prompt the government to conduct a thorough evaluation and address this issue with a sense of urgency. It is crucial for the government to formulate progressive strategies and innovations aligned with the Paris Agreement,” stated Akbar.

He elaborated on several actions the government should take to enhance the implementation of renewable energy development in Indonesia. Firstly, there is a need to increase the presence of supportive laws to foster a more conducive environment. Secondly, clear and comprehensive instruments should be provided, covering the entire spectrum from planning and procurement to reporting processes, especially for entities beyond PLN. Thirdly, a new revenue model for PLN should be established. Lastly, there is a necessity to refine PLN’s sustainable finance framework to attract a broader range of financing sources.

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Fairness and Inclusivity Should be the Foundation of Indonesia’s JETP Investment Plan

Jakarta, June 27, 2023 – Following the signing of the Just Energy Transition Partnership (JETP), three countries, namely South Africa, Indonesia, and Vietnam, promptly initiated actions to implement the agreement and prepared various strategic steps to achieve the goals of JETP in each country. The JETP Convening for Exchange and Learning Session facilitated communication and discussions among the three countries to share information and lessons learned in achieving equitable energy transition.

Dadan Kusdiana, the Director General of New Renewable Energy and Energy Conservation at MEMR, mentioned that the JETP Secretariat in Indonesia is currently in the process of drafting a roadmap to phase out coal-fired power plants (CFPP).

“We are currently discussing (within the JETP Secretariat-ed) the prioritization of the Pelabuhan Ratu CFPP in the plan for early retirement of its operations. The Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources is also reviewing the regulations, particularly concerning asset transfers and the establishment of power purchase agreements (PPAs),” said Dadan.

Fabby Tumiwa, the Director of the Institute for Essential Services Reform (IESR), emphasized the importance of conducting the comprehensive investment plan (CIP) preparation process with transparency, clarity, and easy accessibility, while consistently involving public participation.

Furthermore, Fabby also urged the government to reform policies, among other actions, to achieve the goals of JETP and promote the widespread adoption of renewable energy.

“JETP aims to create an enabling environment for renewable energy. While the allocated 20 billion dollars may not be sufficient to achieve the targets of the Paris Agreement, we must utilize it as a catalyst to increase the share of renewable energy and phase out the use of coal-fired power plants,” explained Fabby.

Mpetjane Lekgoro, the South African Ambassador to Indonesia, also stated during the same occasion that his party prioritizes the principles of justice and inclusivity in managing JETP funding.

“South Africa is committed to utilizing the JETP to promote restorative justice in the energy transition. These investments should not only provide financial support but also uphold sustainability and security, ensuring the inclusion of those most affected,” he added.

Similarly, Dipak Patel, Head of Climate Finance & Innovation for the President’s Climate Commission (PCC) in South Africa, emphasized that a detailed discussion on equity in the energy transition is their primary focus.

“South Africa has identified three areas of equity in the energy transition, encompassing restorative justice by considering the most affected communities, procedural justice that involves all communities in decision-making related to energy and climate transition, and distributional justice that guarantees fair and equitable treatment,” Patel explained.

Examining the JETP funding allocated to South Africa, amounting to USD 8.5 million over a period of 3-5 years, Neil Cole from the JETP-IP Project Management Unit in South Africa emphasized the importance of thoroughly and innovatively integrating the JETP funding into projects at both the national and subnational levels.

“It is crucial to synchronize the top-down and bottom-up approaches in order to identify the shared requirements and collaboratively develop an actionable and inclusive implementation plan,” Cole explained.

Le Viet Anh, Director General of the Department of Science, Education, Natural Resources, and Environment at the Ministry of Planning and Investment in Vietnam, highlighted several key actions to expedite the attainment of JETP targets. These actions encompass establishing a robust, collaborative, and supportive environment among the government, international partners, and the private sector. Additionally, accelerating the institutionalization of enabling legal frameworks such as green taxonomy, green incentives, and green financing mechanisms is essential. Furthermore, facilitating the transfer of clean energy technologies, expertise, and technical know-how to enhance Vietnam’s capabilities is crucial.

“The Vietnamese government has demonstrated a strong commitment to promoting green growth through our national strategy. Vietnam has made significant green commitments at COP26, including targets such as achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 and phasing out coal-fired power plants by the 2040s,” he explained.

The Just Energy Transition Partnership (JETP) Convening was jointly organized by the Ford Foundation in Indonesia, the Institute for Essential Services Reform (IESR), and the African Climate Foundation (ACF), with support from the Global Energy Alliance for People and Planet (GEAPP). The primary objective of the event was to provide a platform for stakeholders to engage in a forum for learning and knowledge exchange.