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Indonesia struggles to balance environmental targets with fondness for coal

September 20, 2021


Even as Indonesia wins cautious praise from some green groups for ambitious plans to cut carbon emissions, the world’s biggest exporter of thermal coal shows no sign of weaning itself off the polluting fuel any time soon.

Indonesia, the eighth-biggest carbon emitter, recently brought forward its goal for net zero emissions from 2070 to 2060 or sooner, ahead of the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Glasgow in November, and joined a U.S.-led Global Methane Pledge.

It also plans to stop commissioning new coal-fired power plants and phase out coal for electricity by 2056 under a new, greener long-term economic vision.

But – as with other coal producers such as Australia and India – Indonesia is wrestling with how to balance its environmental targets with the cost of pulling the plug on an industry that contributed $38 billion in export earnings in the first seven months of 2021.

“We are phasing out coal power plants. But if you ask whether we’re closing down mines, we have the coal and there are other utilisation options,” Dadan Kusdiana, the energy ministry’s head of renewable energy, told Reuters.

[Fransiska Nangoy, Gayatri Suroyo] 

More:  Indonesia clings to coal despite green vision for economy 

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