Coal continues to cause major problems for Indonesia’s climate efforts. The huge fleet of newly operating coal plants has skyrocketed Indonesia’s emissions by 21% in 2022 and “new” insights on the off-grid coal pipeline has forced a revision of the Just Energy Transition Partnership (JETP) targets, which are not Paris compatible.
These off-grid coal plants are fuelling the booming domestic metals industry and large infrastructure projects for the new capital city. Indonesia’s nickel industry is set to not only support Indonesia with its development goals and energy transition but will also play a critical role in the global energy transition. With this update, the CAT’s rating of Indonesia’s climate targets and action drops from “Highly insufficient” to “Critically insufficient”.
In November 2023, the JETP Comprehensive Investment and Policy Plan (CIPP) communicated that new insights on the huge pipeline of off-grid coal plants would render Indonesia's initial target to cap power emissions at 290 MtCO2 in 2030 “infeasible”. The plan now aims to cap on-grid emissions at 250 MtCO2 in 2030. Off-grid coal could reach 30 GW in 2030 and result in an additional 150 MtCO2, meaning total power sector emissions could reach 400 MtCO2 in 2030, more than twice the level required to align with the Paris Agreement’s 1.5C temperature limit.
While the JETP can be considered a landmark achievement in international cooperation on climate change, it also highlights persisting shortcomings from wealthy countries to put sufficient levels of finance on the table to support ambitious Paris compatible emissions pathways. The CIPP shows that around USD 96bn is required for the implementation of the JETP pathway by 2030 and USD 580bn by 2050.
The form of JETP financing is another cause for concern – the high share of loans, instead of grants, risks burdening Indonesia with debt. The JETP aims to kick-start Indonesia’s energy transition with USD 21.5bn - half earmarked for public funding, mainly concessional loans, while the other half private sector market loans at interest rates to be decided later. Just 1.4% of the pledged USD 21.5bn will be in the form of grants.
As Indonesia nears its 2024 presidential election, the candidates' visions will undeniably shape the country's climate trajectory. All candidates are committed to national net zero goals, increasing the share of renewables, and promoting sustainable forest management. However, the depth and breadth of their climate strategies vary, with each candidate highlighting different aspects of climate action.
Indonesia has been making progress with policies and actions in several sectors, including:
- Two major renewables projects came online in 2023 – the largest floating solar PV plant in Southeast Asia and Indonesia’s first green hydrogen refinery. The 195 MWp floating solar PV plant on the Cirata hydropower reservoir in West Java came online in November 2023. Its developers recently signed an MOU to add 500 MW capacity in phase II of the project. The green hydrogen project is located at the Muara Karang Steam Gas Power Plant in Jakarta and utilises a mix of on-site solar PV and renewable energy certificates.
- Indonesia launched the first ETS in Southeast Asia in February 2023. The first operational phase covers on-grid coal plants larger than 100 MW in 2023, expanding to on-grid coal plants larger than 25 MW in 2024, including off-grid coal plants in 2025, and covering other fossil-based power plants in 2028.
- Presidential Regulation 112/2022 on Acceleration of Renewable Energy Development for Electricity Supply introduces three key power sector reforms: (1) new electricity tariff regime (no longer linked to existing local generation costs determined by fossil fuel subsidies), (2) streamlined power purchase agreement procurement process, particularly for dispatchable renewables, hydro and geothermal, and (3) moratorium on new coal power plants (with some exceptions and conditions) and mandates the formulation of a coal phase out plan.
- Indonesia’s net zero target is being integrated into energy and forestry sector plans – the two key sectors for climate mitigation in Indonesia’s NDC. The national energy plan (RUEN) that is currently under revision and the draft electricity plan (RUKN) both envisage pathways aligned with net zero by 2060 or sooner. In 2022, the Ministry of Environment and Forestry published the Operational Plan for FOLU Net Sink 2030 (forestry and other land uses).
However, current policies lead to a strong increase in emissions towards 2030 and do not yet put Indonesia on a low-carbon trajectory that uses its vast renewable energy potential. This increase in emissions goes against the goals of the Paris Agreement to avoid the worst impacts of global warming by limiting temperature increase to 1.5°C by 2100. Key measures needed for strengthening Indonesia’s climate action include:
- Implement key reforms advised in the JETP Comprehensive Investment and Policy Plan (CIPP), including (1) reforming local regulatory requirements, which restrict the expansion of solar PV (2) aligning renewables power purchase agreement procurement with market standards, and (3) increasing the coal price above current domestic market obligation (DMO) of USD 70 per tonne.
- Formulate and implement an ambitious decarbonisation pathway for off-grid power. Off-grid coal could reach 30 GW by 2030, adding around 150 MtCO2. The JETP Technical Working Group will study Indonesia’s off-grid power sector and formulate a plan by mid-2024.
- Implement ambitious forestry policy aligned with the national goal of reaching net negative forestry and other land use emissions. Emission reductions from the permanent moratorium on forest and peatlands only amount to 3-4% of the reductions targeted in Indonesia’s NDC. Almost 60% of Indonesia’s forest and peat lands are not covered by the moratorium, so expanding the moratorium to primary forest and peatland in designated concession areas and secondary forests could have a huge impact. Upgrading the Presidential Instruction to a law or Presidential Regulation would provide means for stronger enforcement. Poor enforcement currently allows continued deforestation without valid permits.
- With the raise of Indonesia’s biodiesel mandate, strict standards for bioenergy development are needed to minimise environmental and social impacts related to feedstock cultivation. Since palm oil is the main bioenergy feedstock, critically revising the Indonesia Sustainable Palm Oil (ISPO) certification scheme is an important measure.
The CAT rates Indonesia’s climate targets and policies “Critically Insufficient”, one grade lower compared to the previous assessment. The change in rating is driven by a huge increase in 2022 emissions and new quantification of emissions from Indonesia’s off-grid coal power pipeline.
The “Critically Insufficient” rating indicates that Indonesia’s climate policies and commitments currently reflect minimal action and are not at all consistent with the Paris Agreement’s 1.5°C temperature limit. Under Indonesia’s current targets and policies, emissions will continue to rise and are consistent with more than 4°C warming.
We rate both Indonesia’s unconditional and conditional NDC targets “Critically insufficient”, meaning the targets are not consistent with Indonesia’s fair share contribution to global emissions reductions or its modelled domestic pathway (global least-cost emissions reductions). The CAT also rates Indonesia’s policies and actions as “Critically insufficient” when compared to its fair share. To get a better rating Indonesia needs to set more ambitious climate targets and establish associated policies that can curb the growth in national emissions and set them on a downward trend.
The CAT rates Indonesia’s policies and actions against fair share “Critically Insufficient”, two grades lower compared to the previous assessment. Current policy projections increased by around 300 MtCO2e in 2030, driven by a huge increase in 2022 emissions and quantification of emissions from Indonesia’s off-grid coal power pipeline.
The “Critically Insufficient” rating indicates that Indonesia’s climate policies and action reflect minimal action and are not at all consistent with the Paris Agreement’s 1.5°C temperature limit.
The JETP enhances ambition beyond national plans but still fails to put Indonesia on a Paris-compatible decarbonisation pathway To be 1.5°C compatible, Indonesia needs to generate renewables at least 55% and up to 80% by 2030, for which Indonesia will need significant financial support to reach these levels.
Indonesia’s ETS and the forthcoming carbon tax are promising developments that can help drive Indonesia’s energy transition if implemented well. The Indonesia Carbon Exchange (IDXCarbon) was officially launched in 2023, which will support the expansion of Indonesia’s ETS to 99 coal plants in 2024.
There have been some improvements to the regulatory environment for renewables (reform of tariff structure in Regulation 112/2022) but policies to support low-carbon development in Indonesia need adjusting to realise their full mitigation potential and to see the global drop in prices for RE technologies reflected in the generation costs in Indonesia (local content requirements, contract terms, and coal price cap).
The full policies and action analysis can be found here.
We rate Indonesia’s conditional NDC target as “Critically insufficient” when compared to modelled domestic pathways. The “Critically insufficient” rating indicates that Indonesia’s internationally supported target in 2030 reflect minimal to no action and are not at all consistent with the 1.5°C temperature limit. If all countries were to follow Indonesia’s approach, warming would exceed 4°C.
The CAT’s assessment of Indonesia’s total fair share contribution takes into account its emissions reduction target and its climate finance.
We rate Indonesia’s unconditional target as “Critically insufficient” when compared to its fair share emissions allocation. This rating indicates that Indonesia’s fair share target in 2030 reflects minimal to no action and is not at all consistent with the 1.5°C temperature limit.
Indonesia’s emissions from land-use, land-use change and forestry have accounted for almost half of the country’s total emissions over the last 20 years. Indonesia has improved efforts in this sector and managed to continue the decreasing trend of annual tree cover loss in the last five years. Reducing emissions from deforestation is a vital part of Indonesia’s climate action.
The CAT does not yet evaluate Indonesia’s net zero target given its preliminary nature and lack of more detailed information.
Indonesia has not yet communicated an explicit net zero target but explores scenarios that could lead to net zero by 2060 or sooner in its long-term strategy (LTS) submitted to the UNFCCC in July 2021 .