On 28 October 2021, a few days before COP26 in Glasgow, the Institute for Essential Services Reform (IESR) organised a launch event, during which the 2021 Climate Transparency Report has been presented. The report highlights Indonesia’s climate action, which includes adaptation and mitigation measures, points out recent developments and key opportunities as well as covers mobilization of finance to address climate change.

IESR Executive Director, Fabby Tumiwa, in his speech pointed out that the Climate Transparency Report comes out at the right time, just ahead of  COP26,  it assessing whether Indonesia’s climate action achievements are in line with the Paris Agreement targets or not. “We only have less than a decade left to ensure that the global temperature rise will stay below 1.5 degrees Celsius. Indonesia is not only highlighted because we are a member of the G20 but also because Indonesia is ranked in the top 10 largest emitting countries in the world,“ he said.

For this reason, according to Emil Salim, Professor of the Faculty of Economics at UI who is also an environmentalist, policy makers in Indonesia need to establish policies that can reduce carbon emissions and achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.

“The fate of the younger generation in 2050 depends on the political decisions we make now. Don’t just think about the current economic benefits, because it is the younger generation who will bear the consequences of the choices they don’t make. Think about what will happen to the Indonesian people if the impact of climate change gets worse,” said Emil Salim.

Presenting the Indonesian Country Profile, Lisa Wijayani, Green Economy Program Manager at IESR, underlined that Indonesia’s climate action is categorized as “highly insufficient” in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The use of fossil energy reaches 82% in 2020, making the energy sector the largest contributor to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in Indonesia (45.7% in addition to emissions from forests and land use). Based on Climate Transparency’s findings, Lisa stated that the coal use should be gradually reduced from 2030 to 2040 until completely phased out.

Transport is the second largest emitting sector in Indonesia. “To reduce emissions from the transportation sector, Indonesia must increase the use of renewable energy by 40-60% in 2040 or 70-90% in 2050,” Lisa Wijayani said, adding that “the removal of fossil fuels subsidies will help renewable energy compete with fossil energy”.

In terms of the impact of climate change on health Budi Haryanto, epidemiologist at the University of Indonesia, explained the high mortality rate due to the increase in the earth’s temperature. “It is estimated that in 2030-2050 climate change will cause an additional million deaths per year due to malnutrition, malaria, and stress caused by heat waves”. Furthermore, he encouraged the government, especially the Ministry of Health, to collect and provide health data related to climate change adaptation.

In frequency, climate-related disasters are increasing. This was conveyed by Raditya Jati, Deputy of System and Strategy, National Disaster Management Agency. He added that Indonesia as an archipelagic country has a fairly high risk of natural disasters, pointing out that “Seven out of 10 disasters that occur are hydrometeorological disasters and the frequency this year is higher than 2020”.

To significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the economic sector must also be transformed by moving to a green economy. Eka Chandra Buana, Director of Macroeconomic Planning and Statistical Analysis, Bappenas, said that the green economy is a game changer for the Indonesian economy. According to him, low-carbon development by utilising renewable energy will be the backbone to achieve Indonesia’s green economy targets and net-zero emissions by 2060. “Based on our calculation, to achieve net-zero in 2060, Indonesia must increase the use of new and renewable energy to 70% in 2050, and 87% in 2060. This calculation is still in process,” said Eka Chandra.

The success of low-carbon development certainly requires the participation of all parties, especially the city governments. Bernardia Tjandradewi, Secretary General of United Cities and Local Governments Asia Pacific (UCLG ASPAC), stated that the responsibility of city governments is vital, especially statistically, 60-80% of greenhouse gas emissions in the world are generated in urban areas.

Desi Ayu Pirnasari, Researcher at the University of Leeds, emphasized the importance of transitioning in a just manner and that an equitable transition will shape climate resilience and social inclusion in society. “The strategy should prioritize community participation to increase ownership on our agenda, to help us achieve our targets. Climate justice is not only about mitigation or action, but also to improve the living standards of vulnerable people,” she stressed.

The event gathered stakeholders representing civil society, NGOs, academia and local and national governments. The recording of the event has been viewed almost 300 times to this date.

Recording: Raising Climate Ambition to Achieve Climate Justice and Green Economic Growth in Post Pandemic