Ending Murky Episode of Coal with Strong Policy, Not Just Money

Coal Mining in Muara Enim, Indonesia. Credit: BPBD Sumsel.
Glasgow, Scotland
Ending Murky Episode of Coal with Strong Policy, Not Just Money

"The end of coal power is now within sight," said COP26 President Alok Sharma.

The statement came after 23 countries agreed to sign the "Global Coal to Clean Power Transition Statement," which contains four commitments to accelerate the transition to clean energy, retiring coal power plants.

Indonesia became one of the countries that agreed, conditionally.

The third clause of the agreement stated the need for countries to cancel new permits and construction of new unabated coal-fired power generation, one that is not mitigated with technologies to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. Governments must also stop all state-funded coal power plantations.

Indonesia objected to the clause, saying that coal is still efficient and the energy transition is expensive.

While international funding is undoubtedly needed, local renewable energy experts said that strengthening current policies on the carbon tax, renewable energy pricing, and allowing communities to participate could also accelerate the energy transition.

Delaying renewable energy transition due to the lack of international funding will give harm the future Indonesian economy.

This article provides an analysis of how carbon tax and renewable energy pricing could help the transition as well as how several initiatives such as Cross Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM) in Europe and the decrease of renewable power generation will affect the future Indonesian economy if it relies too long on coal. 

This story was originally published in Bahasa Indonesia in Kompas.com on November 9, 2021 produced as part of the 2021 Climate Change Media Partnership, a journalism fellowship organized by Internews' Earth Journalism Network and the Stanley Center for Peace and Security.

Banner image: Coal mining in Muara Enim, Indonesia / Credit: BPBD Sumsel.

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