Indonesia’s Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry announced last week that they would not be approving any new coal-fired power plants, as part of an effort to reduce carbon emissions as the world’s top exporter of thermal coal, and the largest economy in Southeast Asia. The state-owned monopoly on electricity distribution PT Perusahaan Listrik Negara also announced their exit from all coal-fired power plants by 2056 and net zero goals by 2060, transitioning to renewable energy.
350.org Indonesia Team Lead Sisilia Nurmala Dewi issued the following statement:
“Indonesia is taking a step in the right direction by not approving any new coal-fired power plants, especially since the existing and projected coal plants will cause the premature deaths of 22,000 Indonesians. The step will bring about health benefits and no doubt climate benefits to us all. However, the country will still permit development of coal plants that are already under construction or have reached their financial close in 2023. This means that 35,000 megawatts of coal power will still be constructed, significantly locking in more carbon emissions in the next few decades.
As one of the most vulnerable countries in the face of climate breakdown, with 23 million people living in coastal areas at risk of sinking, Indonesia must begin to phase out coal and other fossil fuels immediately. Indonesia’s nationally-determined contributions to the Paris Agreement falls short of what’s needed to save its people. The far-flung net-zero goals by 2070 or PT Perusahaan Listrik Negara’s exit from coal in 2060 is too little, too late. We are already in the midst of the climate crisis, having seen the worst floods displace, isolate and even claim the lives of Indonesians this year. Indonesia still has time to act by saying no to all fossil fuels within an accelerated time frame – they must seize this chance now.”