Jakarta, Indonesia – The climate decade began with torrential rain and floods in Jakarta and surrounding areas in Indonesia on New Year’s Day, as Australia’s wildfires and other climate disasters marked a tragic start to the 2020s.
According to the Indonesian Meteorological, Climatological and Geophysical Agency (BMKG), the flood was caused by the highest daily rainfall since record-keeping began in 1996. At least 60 people have already been killed and hundreds of thousands of others have been displaced.
The flooding will also result in huge economic losses, especially for those who are already facing challenges within the agricultural sector.
“We are deeply sorry for the victims. Not only to the victims of the floods that just happened, but also farmers who experienced crop failures this year due to the dry season which was longer than usual. In all these scenarios, it is always the poor and the marginalised that are hit the hardest,” lamented Sisilia Nurmala Dewi, Team Leader for 350.org in Indonesia.
“This should be a reminder of the importance of climate change mitigation and adaptation efforts which need to be an important agenda for Indonesia’s development. All citizens can play a role in demanding policies and governance that are aware of climate risks and actively take action to prevent climate crisis. We must enforce disincentives to the coal industry that contribute
ssignificantly to the climate crisis while boosting the economic incentives for renewable energy. This is a form of development that protects people from environmental disasters.”
The figures on losses and the number of victims are anticipated to rise sharply, with more heavy rain, lightning and gale-force winds forecast to continue until mid-January. The frequency of extreme weather conditions will also continue to increase with rising global temperatures. But Indonesia continues to push ahead with plans to build over 100 new coal-fired power stations.
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