According to the UN – we have 12 years to solve the Climate Crisis.
But what is Indonesia role in this alarming fact?
The 4th most populous country in the world had committed to going 23% renewable by 2025 and cut deforestation emissions by 29% by 2030 in the Paris Climate Agreement
As with the rest of the world, not only are we way behind, we are actively making things worse.
Indonesia’s position is unique compared to the rest of the world’s worst emitters.
As the global home of palm oil, the ingredient of many commodities, Indonesia’s climate target (and economy) is beholden to global consumer tastes.
Combine this with a rapidly rising middle class, accelerating demand for energy, inadequate funds and no solid design for a sustainable future, Indonesia’s position hangs in the balance.
Though that is no excuse for a nihilistic acceptance of environmental catastrophe.
Indonesia is so important in this fight because if the country doesn’t reach its climate goals, neither will the rest of the world.
This is part 1 of a 3 part series on Indonesia relationship with the Climate Crisis, and what solutions are required.
Here’s 15 reasons why Indonesia is so important in the fight against Climate Change
Indonesia Is The 5th Largest Emitter Of Green House Gasses
This is mainly from deforestation for Palm Oil which involves further clearing of carbon-rich tropical forests.
Land Emissions Contribute One Quarter Of Global Greenhouse Gas Emissions
Indonesia Is The Largest Contributer Of Greenhouse Gas Emissions From Land
1 Hectare Of Rainforest Cleared For Palm Oil Releases 170 Tons Of Carbon
10,000 Square Miles Of Rainforest Disappeared Since 2011
Global Demand For Palm Oil Is Increasing
According to WWF:
“More than half of all packaged products Americans consume contain palm oil.”
Major International Companies Continue To Evade Best Palm Oil Practices
Forest Fires In Dry Rainy Season Caused “The Haze” 2015
This event produced the same amount of CO2 emissions as the UK for an entire year. Despite tighter regulations, wilder weather patterns make this a repeatable possibility.
Weak Law Enforcement Can’t Stop The Rule Breakers
Even with the best intentions of Indonesian authorities, global demand continues to find its way around regulations.
Government Plans To Expand Palm Oil Production
Expanding Middle Class Is Backed By Minimal Investment In Renewables
Even if, hypothetically, there was a miracle and Indonesia reduced deforestation, eliminated forest fires and enforced sustainable palm oil practices, there is another catastrophe running parallel to this.
Indonesia’s rising energy emissions.
Indonesia’s Highest Green House Gas Contributer Will Be Energy Emissions By 2027
100 Coal Plants Under Construction
This is adding to the 42 already existing. Exports of (mainly) Kalimantan sourced coal are dwindling. The increase is mainly to serve local demand.
All these programs are done with the interest of the Indonesian people at heart.
This isn’t an argument against the advancement of the prosperity of the Indonesian people.
Though sustainability and prosperity don’t have to be separate goals. They can and must be aligned.
There is immense potential for Indonesia to be an exemplary sustainable energy nation. The country has wind, hydro, solar and geothermal energy potential in abundance.
Yet Only 2% Of Indonesia’s Energy Comes From Renewable Sources
2 crucial things are missing from a solution. Harnessing renewable energy potential and funding. These will be the subjects of follow up features in the series.
Doom And Gloom?
Right now, the simple answer is – YES.
But we must come to this realisation now.
Only when we accept the complete hopelessness of the current trajectory can we dare hope for a future habitable Indonesia.
The key ingredient missing right now is desire and grand ambition. But it’s coming.
Sure, rapid mobilisation from government, private sector, and the global community to a new climate climate-conscious paradigm must be meaningfully harnessed immediately.
But the responsibility of the common people to demand this is the prerequisite.
It is the challenge of our generation to ensure Indonesia is destined to play a defining and positive role in the Climate Drama.
Sources: VOX | Jakarta Post | WWF | The Guardian