MADRID, Spain — The transition from fossil energy to renewables is an important key to curbing the rise of greenhouse gas emissions. But the global use of coal-based energy, including in Indonesia, contradicts national emissions-reduction targets.
This point was exposed in a workshop on energy, transportation and housing held by the Marrakech Partnership for Global Climate Action (MPGCA) as part of a side event at the 2019 United Nations Climate Change Conference (UNFCCC-COP25) in Madrid, Spain, on Dec. 7.
The Yearbook of Global Climate Action 2019 report states that renewable energy contributed 17.5 percent of global energy consumption in 2016. In 2018, around 25 percent of global energy was derived from renewable sources. Increased use of renewable energy in 2018 prevented the emission of 215 million additional tons of carbon, according to the report.
However, the increase is still deemed inadequate in achieving benchmarks set out by the UN-backed Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which suggests that renewable energy use should increase by up to 80 percent by 2050 to prevent a global temperature rise of more than 1.5 degrees Celsius.
Based on Indonesia’s nationally determined contribution (NDC), the greatest contributor to carbon emissions is forestry (47.8 percent), followed by energy (34.9 percent). In a meeting with Deputy Environment and Forestry Minister Alue Dohong on Friday, Dec. 6, UNFCCC COP26 president-designate Claire Perry O’Neill said that the UK offered technical and financial assistance to Indonesia to commit to the energy transition from coal to new and renewable sources.
Separately, Greenpeace Indonesia climate and energy campaigner Tata Mustasya said on Sunday that the direction of Indonesia’s energy sector development contradicted its emissions-reduction target. By 2025 it's estimated that Indonesia’s power sector will be dominated by coal-based power plants (54 percent). This scenario contradicts the IPCC’s recommendation of a two-thirds reduction in coal-based power plants by 2030 and a closure of all coal-based power plants by 2050 to reduce the effects of global warming.
“Indonesia plans to develop 27GW of new coal-based power plants in addition to the 28GW of existing coal-based power plants," Mustasya said. "This will create an additional 200 million tons of carbon emissions per year."
Under such conditions, Climate Tracker Action (CAT) says Indonesia is highly remiss in terms of achieving national emissions-reduction targets. Indonesia’s NDC target is to reduce emissions by 29 percent independently or by 41 percent with international assistance by 2030.
“Indonesia should learn from other developing countries [that have been] successful in the clean energy transformation, such as Costa Rica or Uruguay," said Mustasya. "The key is the government’s political commitment must be followed by implementation."