Enviro360-Despite a recent $20 billion agreement with the G7 group of industrialized countries to aid it in its transition to sustainable energy, Indonesia will keep constructing new coal-fired power facilities.

Activists claim that this puts the Just Energy Transition Partnership agreement, which was signed at the G20 conference that Indonesia hosted earlier this month, in danger of disintegrating before it even gets off the ground.

According to Andri Prasetiyo, a researcher at Trend Asia, a Jakarta-based charity that promotes the transition to sustainable energy, JETP in Indonesia runs a significant danger of failing in its attempt to decarbonize [Indonesia’s] power system. This is due to the government’s ongoing deployment of conflicting signals in the energy transition by failing to provide a firm timeline for halting the development of new coal-fired power plants.

Indonesia will strive to cap its emissions from the power sector by 2030, earlier than the planned objective of 2037, and to produce 34% of its electricity from renewable sources by that year, under the agreement, the single largest climate finance cooperation to date.

The construction of new coal plants, which have already been tendered out and have a combined 13 gigawatts of power, will nevertheless be permitted by the Indonesian government. The program is described in the nation’s ten-year energy plan for 2021–2030. Importantly, a law released in 2022 by President Joko Widodo permits the development of captive coal plants, which are created expressly to supply specific sectors rather than the grid.

According to a joint statement from Indonesia and its JETP partners, which also include the G7 and Denmark, and Norway, they want to limit the construction of captive coal-fired power plants in accordance with the 2022 presidential directive. They say that the cooperation must continue if no new coal plants are built in areas where timely, emission-free, cost-effective, and dependable alternatives can be found. The alliance also calls for the creation of a plan to prevent the creation of new coal-fired power plants and to identify investments in renewable energy as captive-coal alternatives.

The Indonesian Center for Environmental Law’s program director, Grita Anindarini, claims that any constraints the JETP imposes on captive coal are still unclear (ICEL). She urged the Indonesian government to change any rules and guidelines that continue to support the development of additional coal power and obstruct the just energy transition envisioned in JETP. The construction of new coal power plants is expressly permitted, according to the 2022 presidential rule, according to Grita.

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Photo: Tiara Pertiwi/Trend Asia