Jakarta, 4 December 2021-“Everyone has used solar panels, and there are electric motors too. The air feels so fresh!” said Kiara in Kiara’s Dream which describes the environment of Indonesia in 2050. This dream should be the general dream of the Indonesian people, notably the policymakers whose decision will determine the journey of the Indonesian.
The success of Indonesia in 2050 as Kiara’s description depends on the Indonesian government’s strategy in preparing and providing a better planet for future generations. The step to reach it must start from now by making an energy transition, switching from fossil energy to renewable energy.
President Jokowi in his briefing to the Commissioners and Directors of Pertamina and PLN, even emphasized that the energy transition could not be delayed any longer. Jokowi firmly asked his staff to immediately prepare a concrete, compact, detailed grand design of energy transition. Jokowi said that welcoming the energy transition era, all sectors need to change by developing renewable energy instead of fossil fuels. This is part of the global movement to tackle the climate crisis.
The climate crisis has been a common enemy for years. The struggle against it has been set in the Paris Agreement in 2015 agreed by 197 countries. Each country tries to keep its emissions as low as possible to keep the earth’s temperature well below 1.5 degrees Celsius after pre-industrial times.
Until COP 26 in Glasgow ended on November 13, 2021, as many as 137 countries already had a carbon neutral target of 2050-2070. Indonesia is targeting carbon neutrality by 2060 or sooner with international support. However, these efforts were considered insufficient to limit the earth’s temperature. The results from the Climate Action Tracker state that even with the country’s commitment to achieving carbon neutrality in the 2050-2070 timeframe, the earth will still be heated at 2.5-2.7 degrees Celsius in 2100.
Regrettably, as one of the largest emission contributors in the world, particularly in the forestry & land sector and the energy sector, Indonesia has not yet set ambitious steps in combating climate change. Although taking a positive commitment to the early retirement of 9.2 GW of coal-fired power plants, according to the Institute for Essential Services Reform (IESR), at least a total of 10.5 GW of coal-fired power plants must be retired before 2030 to be in line with the Paris Agreement.
To urge the Indonesian government to be bolder in its efforts to mitigate the climate crisis demands the role of Indonesian people, including young people. IESR through the Clean, Affordable, and Secure Energy for Southeast Asia (CASE) project in collaboration with AIESEC UI at the Global Impact Conference, which was attended by youth across countries underlined the important and impactful things that youth can do, including by sharing information about the energy sector as the second-largest greenhouse gas emission contributor after forestry and land.
“Awareness of the damaging impact of fossil energy to the earth will encourage people to have responsible behavior towards energy consumption, for instance by saving energy,” said Agus Tampubolon (blue tshirt), CASE Project Manager, IESR.
Furthermore, every Indonesian citizen has a significant part in resolving the quality of life for their children and grandchildren by choosing leaders who have a vision and mission to realize low emission development and massive use of renewable energy, both at regional and national levels.
Agus added that to accelerate the energy transition process systematically, local governments play its key in setting a high target for achieving renewable energy in the Regional Energy General Plan (RUED). Local governments must have a detailed mapping of the technical potential of renewable energy in their area, build networks, and prepare relevant regulations to attract more investment in renewable energy in their area. Thus, Kiara’s Dream, our dream, and the dreams of future generations can come true.