Observing Indonesia's Mitigation Plan in Long Term Strategy 2050 (Note to Energy and Forestry Sector)

Article 4 of the Paris Agreement mandates the world's countries to develop emission reduction plans that reflect the highest ambition to keep the increase in the earth's temperature below 2 degrees Celsius. This commitment is reflected in preparing a nationally determined contribution or what is familiarly known as an NDC. [1] In addition to the NDC, Article 4 of the Paris Agreement also encourages the creation of a long-term low-emissions development plan or long-term strategy.[2] If defined, this long-term strategy is a document that describes strategies and plans for climate change mitigation and adaptation in a longer timeframe than the majority of NDCs, pegging this timeframe in 2050. Based on the Conference of the Parties (COP) 1/CP.21, this long-term strategy was targeted for submission to the UNFCCC in 2020.

Indonesia has also developed a long-term strategy as a party to the Paris Agreement. This long-term strategy is also further developing Indonesia's NDC. The second submission period did not change the emission reduction target from 29% for unconditional and 41% for conditional.[3] As part of the development of Indonesia's mitigation plans, Indonesia's long-term strategy provides three mitigation trajectories until 2050, which are divided into current policy scenarios (CPOS), transition scenarios (TRNS), and low carbon scenarios compatible with the Paris Agreement (LCCP). CPOS is an expanded version of the unconditional commitment in the NDC. TRNS is a scenario that refers to a transition scenario, and LCCP is a low-carbon scenario that is considered compatible with the Paris Agreement targets.[4] Of the three emission scenarios, the LCCP scenario is the most ambitious because it is claimed to be the most compatible with the Paris Agreement targets. The LCCP scenario has also targeted net zero in 2060 or earlier and peak emission or the highest peak emission in 2030.[5] Unfortunately, even the mitigation plans in the most "ambitious" scenarios leave various notes. At least these records appear in the energy sector and the forest and land sector, which, if added together, contribute to 86% of Indonesia's total national emissions.[6]

For the energy sector, Indonesia's long-term strategy projects that the composition of renewable energy in the primary energy supply will be the largest by 2050. However, this amount is still insufficient compared to the total composition of fossil energy in the primary energy supply. In addition, the use of coal, which is the main trigger of climate change as an energy source, is also still seen significantly. However, in this projection, all PLTUs are assumed to have used carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology which is claimed to reduce PLTU emissions by up to 90%.[7 ] The use of CCS technology as a plan to mitigate emissions from the energy sector in the long term itself poses a problem because CCS technology has not been tested for the impact of its operation[8] and is currently at a competitive cost level with solar energy. In America, the operating cost of a PLTU using CCS technology reaches $151.34/MwH (assuming it includes transportation costs), which is quite far from the use of renewable energy such as Solar PV, which costs $71.12/MwH.[9] The use of CCS technology, which is costly and has not been tested for its efficiency, is feared to 'perpetuate' the use of coal in Indonesia's energy sector. However, the record on health impacts and the impact it has on the climate has been extensively studied.

In addition, the mitigation policy that wants to decarbonize electricity and transportation also has its own record. This is due to plans to develop biofuels derived from palm oil and biomass as raw materials to replace fossil fuels.[10] There are at least two things that need to be criticized. First, relying on palm oil as fuel has implications for increasing the demand for these raw materials. This means that a large amount of land is needed to meet the supply of raw materials. Land clearing for oil palm expansion to meet fuel supply needs has the potential to increase emissions from the forest and land sector (AFOLU) related to deforestation. Second, the proportion of biomass in power generation through co-firing is only around 1-10% [11], so the source of electrical energy is still dominated by coal. The use of biomass as a co-firing material also increases the need for land for biomass supply because it is projected that the demand for biomass supply for co-firing activities will grow to 8-16 million tons per year in the next 10 years. IEEFA projects that by 2060, Indonesia's biomass needs for energy will reach 1.4 billion tons per year.[12] Again, this has the potential to increase emissions from the AFOLU sector.

Next is the forest and land sector (AFOLU). In the LCCP scenario, the AFOLU sector is targeted to achieve negative emissions by 2030.[13] Despite the ambitious target of achieving negative emissions from the AFOLU sector in the near future, the most ambitious mitigation scenario still opens up deforestation space of up to 6.8 million hectares.[14] In fact, KLHK records show that Indonesia has succeeded in reducing the rate of deforestation by 75%.[15] In addition, the negative emission plan is not without challenges. Currently, around 9.8 million hectares of natural forest are located within concessions and Other Use Areas (APL), and about 50% of this is usable.[16] This, of course, has the potential to trigger deforestation rates. Existing policies such as national strategic projects such as food estates that are given the ease of clearing forest areas also have the potential to increase deforestation rates.

Based on the explanation above, it can be seen that Indonesia's long-term mitigation strategy still leaves various critical notes to be able to respond to the need for action needed by Indonesia to prevent emissions and climate change. In fact, Indonesia has a lot of potentials to increase its climate action. Therefore, there is a need for a comprehensive review of this mitigation strategy and plan so that it can contribute significantly in reducing emissions, especially Indonesia's emission contribution at the global level. (Shaharani)



[1] UNFCCC, Paris Agreement, Art. 4, Par. 2 -3. 

[2] Ibid, Art. 4, Par. 19. 

[3] Indonesia, Updated Nationally Determined Contribution (2021), pg. 12. 

[4] Indonesia, Long-Term Strategy for Low Carbon and Climate Resilience 2050 (2021), hlm. 2-3. 

[5] Ibid, pg. 3. 

[6] Kementerian Lingkungan Hidup dan Kehutanan, Laporan Inventarisasi Gas Rumah Kaca (GRK) dan Monitoring, Pelaporan, Verifikasi (MPV) 2019, pg. 41. 

[7] Dennis Y. C. Leung, et. al., “An Overview of Carbon Dioxide Capture and Storage Technologies” Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews Vol. 39 (2014), pg. 427. 

[8] Eva Mahnke, “Carbon Capture and Storage: Problems at Depth”, diakses melalui https://www.boell.de/en/2015/11/10/carbon-capture-and-storage-problems-depth, at 6 September 2021. 

[9] Forbes, “Carbon Capture and Storage: An Expensive Option for Reducing U.S CO2 Emissions”, accessed https://www.forbes.com/sites/energyinnovation/2017/05/03/carbon-capture-and-storage-an-expensive-option-for-reducing-u-s-co2-emissions/?sh=120259e96482, pada 6 September 2021. 

[10] Indonesia, Long-Term Strategy for Low Carbon and Climate Resilience 2050, pg. 66 

[11] Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis, “Indonesia’s Biomass Cofiring Bet”, diakses melalui http://ieefa.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/Biomass_Cofiring_Presentation_2021.pdf. 

[12] Elrika Hamdi dan Putra Adhiguna, “Putting PLN’s Net Zero Ambition Into Context”, pg. 19. 

[13] Indonesia, Long-Term Strategy for Low Carbon and Climate Resilience 2050, pg. 3. 

[14] Ibid, pg. 39. 

[15] Kementerian Lingkungan Hidup dan Kehutanan, “Laju Deforestasi Indonesia Turun 75, 03%”, accessed https://www.menlhk.go.id/site/single_post/3645/laju-deforestasi-indonesia-turun-75-03,  6 September 2021. 

[16] Indonesia, Long-Term Strategy for Low Carbon and Climate Resilience 2050, pg. 40.