Following the Indonesian government’s decision to ease its temporary ban on coal export, environmental organization Greenpeace Southeast Asia warned that more energy crises will arise if governments continue their dependence on fossil fuel imports.
Greenpeace said that while Indonesia has loosened its ban on coal exports due to pressure from trading partners including the Philippines, consumers will shoulder the high electricity costs resulting from fossil fuel import dependence.
Khevin Yu, Energy Transition Campaigner, Greenpeace Philippines, said: “This unfortunately shows how dependent we are not just on fossil fuels, but on fossil fuel imports. With no ambitious plans to boost clean and renewable energy in the energy mix, energy insecurity will be a recurring problem that will burden Filipinos and the world, on top of the climate and COVID-19 crises.
“DOE, for its part, must realize that they cannot talk their way out of the energy crisis every time global supplies hit a critical level. We can alleviate the country’s energy struggles while mitigating the impacts of the climate crisis through a swift, massive uptake of renewables.”
He urged the government to “ramp up its commitment to phase out coal by revising the Philippine Energy Plan so that it facilitates a just and urgent transition to renewable energy.”
“It should increase the country’s renewable energy target to 50% by 2030, halt all plans for fossil gas, nuclear and all types of false solutions, and improve grid development for utility-scale solar and wind, which are abundant, indigenous, and free energy sources,” he said.
Tata Mustasya, Climate and Energy Manager, Greenpeace Indonesia, said: “The decision to lift the export ban has benefited the coal oligarch as they can sell the coal to domestic market with a higher price and boost the amount of coal export. Southeast Asia’s dependence on coal will exacerbate the climate crisis regionally and globally and create human and environmental impacts from coal production. We can’t bear the cost, it is too high.”
The present regional energy crisis comes just months after COP26, where over 190 countries and organizations have signed a statement seeking to phase out coal in powerful countries by the 2030s and in the rest of the world by the 2040s. (Greenpeace)