The improved national targets are still a long way from a 1.5C pathway finds Caroline Bulolo

China Dialogue-Indonesia’s latest climate plan, released shortly before the COP27 climate talks, still involves coal and fails to align the country with a pathway that keeps global warming within 1.5C. However, a major foreign investment deal – the Just Energy Transition Partnership – subsequently announced at the G20 summit in Bali could accelerate the transition if the government put the right policies in place.

In its national climate plan, known as an enhanced nationally determined contribution (NDC), Indonesia has made only a slight change to the initial greenhouse gas targets it submitted following its ratification of the Paris Agreement in 2016. By 2030, the country will reduce emissions by 31.9% compared to a business-as-usual scenario, up on the 29% in the 2016 plan. If given appropriate international financial support, it will cut emissions by 43.2%, up from 41%.

The NDC provides no detail on phasing out the country’s coal power plants, which has been called for by environmentalists for years.

Critics say the plan is insufficient. According to an analysis by Climate Action Tracker, Indonesia’s unconditional reduction target should be set at 62% to meet the high-ambition 1.5C warming limit nations agreed to in the Paris Agreement.

However, the Just Energy Transition Partnership (JETP) is expected to mobilise US$20 billion in public and private financing over a period of three to five years, which could push Indonesia to achieve significant new targets and policies to reduce emissions, particularly in the power sector.

The JETP will allow Indonesia to move its power sector peaking date forward by approximately seven years, to 2030, reducing emissions by more than 300 megatons by that year and well above 2,000 megatons by 2060, compared to the current trajectory. The country’s net zero target can be moved forward by ten years, to 2050.

Indonesia will also be able to accelerate the deployment of renewable energy, which will account for at least 34% of total power generation by 2030, effectively doubling the target for total renewables installation over the course of this decade compared to current plans.

The investment is expected to move swiftly according to a written joint statement from Indonesia and its international partners. They will develop a “comprehensive investment plan” in the next six months.

Andri Prasetiyo, program manager at Trend Asia, said the JETP can push Indonesia’s energy transition but the government needs to issue concrete policies “immediately because at the moment we are still relying heavily on coal”.

Coal dominates

Indonesia’s enhanced NDC raises the target for reducing emissions from the energy sector to 358 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent (MTCO2e), up from the 314 MTCO2e in the updated” NDC that was submitted in 2021.

The reduction in emissions will be possible thanks to a higher target for renewable energy capacity: 20.9 GW, up from 7.4 GW in 2016. The plan also includes building rooftop solar in residential, commercial and industrial sectors, and a target of 15.1 million electric vehicles and 18.1 million electric stoves by 2030.

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Photo by Melvinas Priananda/Trend Asia