Although Indonesia has received cautious kudos from some green groups for ambitious plans to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, the world’s largest thermal coal exporter shows no evidence of weaning itself off the polluting fuel in the foreseeable future.

Indonesia, the eighth largest emitter of CO2, recently pushed forward its net-nil emissions target from 2070 to 2060 or earlier, even before the UN climate change conference in Glasgow in November, and has joined a US-led global methane commitment.

Nevertheless, data from the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis, an energy think tank, suggests that around 16GW of new coal-fired power plants are expected to take on service between now and 2030.

But, like other coal producers like Australia and India, Indonesia is struggling to balance environmental targets with costs by pulling the plug on a sector that generated $38 billion in exports in its first seven months of 2021.

“We are phasing out coal power plants. But if you ask whether we’re closing down mines, we have the coal and there are other utilisation options,”Dadan Kusdiana

“We are phasing out coal power plants. But if you ask whether we’re closing down mines, we have the coal and there are other utilisation options,” DWD head of renewables Dadan Kuzova told Reuters.

While the use of CCS technology is possible, there is a risk that there could be leaks in the effort to capture emissions from coal combustion and mining, he said.

As an archipelago, Indonesia is aware of its vulnerability to climate change, but policymakers need to be mindful of economic development, including the future of coal and the employment it affords, Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati said.

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On the other hand, parliament examines a carbon tax proposed by the government, and Indonesia has ambitious plans to turn its nickel reserves into a manufacturing centre for batteries and electric vehicles.


Carbon capture and storage

Carbon capture and storage or carbon capture and sequestration is the process of capturing carbon dioxide before it enters the atmosphere, transporting it, (wikipedia)


2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference

The 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference, COP 21 or CMP 11 was held in Paris, France, from 30 November to 12 December 2015. (wikipedia)


United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change established an international environmental treaty to combat “dangerous human interference with the climate system”, (wikipedia)


First United Indonesia Cabinet

The First United Indonesia Cabinet , formerly the United Indonesia Cabinet was the official name of the presidential cabinet of Indonesia, (wikipedia)