JAKARTA (July 22, 2021)—Yesterday the government of Indonesia submitted an updated national climate commitment to the United Nations. The plan includes new measures on adaptation and resilience and some new targets in specific sectors, but has the same topline emissions targets submitted in 2016: an unconditional target to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions 29% below business-as-usual by 2030, or a 41% reduction target contingent on sufficient international financial support. Indonesia also submitted its first long-term strategy to the UNFCCC, which indicates the country plans to peak GHG emissions in 2030 and could reach net-zero GHG emissions by 2060 or sooner.

So far, 94 countries including the EU have submitted new or updated national climate commitments ahead of the COP26 international climate negotiations this November.

Following is a statement from Tjokorda Nirarta Samadhi, Director of WRI Indonesia:

“The 2030 climate commitment submitted today by the Government of Indonesia includes positive new measures on adaptation and resilience and specific targets on restoration of peatlands and degraded land. It should be noted that the topline commitments for emission reductions in 2030 are no more ambitious than what was submitted in 2016, falling short of what’s needed to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement.

“Indonesia’s new long-term strategy is an important shift in the right direction, bringing the country one step closer to reaping the benefits of embracing a new climate economy. The strategy suggests a pathway for Indonesia to reach net-zero by 2060 or sooner, which is 10 years earlier than initially indicated by government officials in March this year. This would entail peaking emissions in 2030, followed by an average annual decline in emissions of 30.7 Mton CO2e, and achieving a net sink of emissions in the forest and land use sector. 

“Crucially, achieving the higher end of the 2030 climate target for Indonesia requires additional investment in Indonesia’s forestry and energy sectors, enabled by increased levels of international climate finance. With many of the world’s largest economies, businesses and investors now aligning towards net-zero by mid-century, today’s news makes clear that Indonesia is a place to invest in. 

“As the world’s eighth largest greenhouse gas emitter and second-fastest growing economy, Indonesia has a huge opportunity to boost its economy, shrink its deficit, create jobs and improve its air and water through bold climate action. 

Research from Indonesia’s Ministry of Development Planning (BAPPENAS) in 2019 showed that Indonesia can reduce GHG emissions by 43% by 2030, exceeding its current climate commitment, and deliver an average GDP growth rate of 6% per year until 2045, and more than 15 million new jobs in 2045 compared with business as usual. The net benefits would start from the first year, and thus could be part of the immediate economic recovery from COVID-19.  Sticking to its current growth path and achieving only the lower end of the 2030 national climate target, would instead mean Indonesia would risk missing out on about 0.5% of GDP growth per year through 2030, and a full 1% per year through 2045. 

“Updated analysis presented by Minister Monoarfa in April similarly showed that accelerated climate action is fundamental to a strong recovery, and would help Indonesia, from the first year, achieve stronger growth, higher employment and faster poverty reductions, and save lives by reducing air pollution.  

“Indonesia should be recognized for its progress on reducing deforestation, which has declined for four years in a row and reached the lowest levels in the last decade in 2020. Now, along with other nations, Indonesia should step up its efforts to address the climate crisis. WRI recommends Indonesia come forward before COP26 in November to commit to stop investing in new coal plants and reach zero deforestation by 2030, coupled with substantial reforestation.”

Following is a statement from Shinta Widjaja Kamdani, Low Carbon Development Indonesia (LCDI) Commissioner and CEO of Sintesa Group:

“As a natural capital superpower, Indonesia is in an excellent position to be a global leader in the transition to a zero-carbon economy. More ambitious climate action at the national level will increase Indonesia’s competitiveness, attract greater investment and support a stronger, better recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and economic crisis.”