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The Earth Day and Indonesia’s Climate and Energy Agenda Forward


Author : Arief Rosadi


Jakarta, 10 May 2023 – The celebration of Earth Day reminds us that there is only one planet we live on, it provides many benefits for human civilization, and we must protect its preservation for future generations. For that reason, increasing the awareness of environmental issues becomes important and we should put environmental issues on the main policy agenda, such as air pollution, waste management, forest degradation, and particularly climate change which possess an existential threat to humankind that can lead to global catastrophic (Hugell etc, 2022).


Climate change become a significant issue because its impact will cause new problems for a human civilization either through slow onset events or extreme events, and creating loss and damage both in terms of economic losses – (income and physical assets) and non-economic losses (individual, society, and environment) (Loss and Damage Online Guideline, UNFCCC.INT). Furthermore, the rising of global temperature above 2 degrees by 2100 will have an impact on people, wildlife, and the ecosystem (Reuters, 2021), it means all countries are vulnerable to the impact of climate change, we need collective ambition for climate action that reflected in each country the Nationally Determined Contribution as mandated by the Paris Agreement (2015).


In the Indonesia context, according to Notre Dame Global Adaptation Index (ND-GAIN, 2020) which summarizes a country’s vulnerability to climate change with its readiness to improve, puts Indonesia in the 101st rank. It indicates Indonesia is in a vulnerable condition and needs to improve the structure of its society through strengthening mitigation and adaptation actions to enable climate-resilience development. In the context of climate policy, Indonesia has updated its NDC since the process of the Paris Agreement (2015), i.e Intended NDC (2015), The First NDC (2016), the Updated NDC (2021), and the Enhanced NDC (2022). Despite having been updated several times, Indonesia’s climate policy is considered less ambitious. This argument resonates with Climate Action Tracker where Indonesia’s overall rating for climate policy is highly insufficient – it implies Indonesia’s climate policies and commitments are not consistent with the Paris Agreement 1.5 degree temperature limits and leads to rising, rather than falling emissions.


In the latest policy, Indonesia has set its emission reduction target by 2030 at 31.89% (with self-effort) and 43.20% (with international support) compared to the previous policy (the Updated NDC, 2021) – 29% (with self-effort) and 41% (with international). Related to the energy sector, the Government of Indonesia has set an emission reduction target of 12.5% (with self-effort) and 15.5% (with international support). Emission Reduction from this sector is crucial because of an important component of national economic development. It not only covers electricity but also cooling, commercial, household, transport, heating, manufacturing, buildings, and cooking (SEforALL). In essence, the successful emission reduction through energy transition will give a significant contribution to climate change and the green economy agenda.

From a technical and economic perspective, increasing Indonesia’s climate ambition and achieving net zero emission in the Indonesia energy system by 2050 is feasible considering Indonesia has a lot of potentials to use renewable energy and local renewable resources, particularly solar PV is sufficient to meet energy demand in the country (IESR, 2021). In detail, the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources has identified Indonesia’s renewable energy potential of around 3.686 GW, with specific solar (3.295), hydro (95), bioenergy (57), wind farm (115), geothermal (24), and tidal (60 GW) but the realization of renewable energy use only 12.56 GW per December 2022.


In conclusion, according to the explanation above, Indonesia needs a more ambitious commitment to tackle climate change and urgently accelerate its energy transition taking into consideration that we deal with existential threats and live in a situation of crisis. The new ambitious climate goal will give a positive signal to all stakeholders that Indonesia is serious about tackling this issue and can drive all stakeholders in society to work collectively toward making Indonesia greener. This commitment not only benefits Indonesia as a country but also contributes to the effort to save this planet from the impact of climate change.


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