DOWNSIDES TO DOWNSTREAMING
Both the Prabowo-Gibran and Ganjar-Mahfud tickets have promised to continue the country’s drive to be a key player in the production of batteries for electric vehicles.
Indonesia holds the world’s largest nickel reserve with an estimated 21 million tonnes and Jokowi has been ramping up the mining and processing of nickel ore during his tenure to meet global demand.
Both pairs have promised to expand Jokowi’s downstreaming policy, processing minerals at home rather than exporting them in their raw form, to other sectors.
But activists note that Jokowi’s downstreaming policy has led to the establishment of dozens coal-fired power plants to feed power-hungry smelters and mining operations, not to mention widespread deforestation and pollution.
“Downstreaming is producing carbon on a massive scale,” said Mr Fanny Tri Jambore, a campaign manager at the non-profit group, Indonesian Forum for the Environment (Walhi).
The Anies-Muhaimin team, on the other hand, has promised to balance economic development and environmental protection in its manifesto. They pledged to bring “climate justice” by protecting vulnerable but underdeveloped communities against the impacts of climate change.
But they have provided no further details on turning this idea into actionable policies, activists said.
Mr Leonard of Greenpeace said Indonesia needs a leader who can deliver on promises to tackle climate change.
“The world is watching whether Indonesia can meet its own goals delivered during COP, particularly as so many countries are providing or promising grants and loans for Indonesia to meet those goals,” he said, referring to the annual climate talks called Conference of the Parties that review how nations are implementing their targets.
Under the Just Energy Transition Partnership, nine countries – members of the Group of Seven (G7) plus Denmark and Norway – have pledged to lend US$20 billion for Indonesia’s decarbonisation efforts.
“We need (Indonesia’s next leader) to have more ambitious and concrete plans on environmental protection and transition from fossil fuel to renewable energy. We need more than rhetoric,” said Mr Leonard.
Source: Channel News Asia