Unveiling Air Pollution and Energy Transition in the 2024 Presidential Election with Bicara Udara


Nafas Indonesia





English / Indonesia

On Wednesday (01/24) night, Nafas attended an event titled "Air Pollution and Energy Transition Issues in the 2024 Presidential Election" organized by Bicara Udara dan Energi Bersih FTW at Twinhouse Blok M. The forum conducted a follow-up discussion on the vice presidential debate held last Sunday (01/21).

The discussion was led by three panelists: Andhyta 'Afu' F. Utami from Bijak Memilih, Agus Tampubolon from the Clean Affordable Sustainable Energy for Southeast Asia project, and Indah Gunawan as a Content Creator. Representatives from each presidential candidate's team were also present to respond to and delve into the environmental ideas and promises that had been presented.

The event comprised three sessions: an intro video, questions from the panelists to the respondents, and questions from the audience to the respondents. Two intro videos were shown, with the first emphasizing that air pollution issues have been widely reported in the media, and the second displaying some clips from the vice presidential debate last Sunday.

The second session began with a general question from Afu about the environmental and development paradigm, Agus inquired about the Just Energy Transition (JET) strategy, and Indah asked about the deforestation issue causing air pollution.

Responding for candidate 01, Irvan Pulungan, emphasized the need for a paradigm shift from extractive economy to a circular economy and justice in climate, ecology, and social aspects. Regarding JET, he highlighted the necessity of new energy sources being available before transitioning to new and renewable energy (NRE). The question about deforestation remained unanswered due to time constraints.

Responding for candidate 02, Dr. Muhammad Hidayat, outlined that downstreaming and sustainable economy are crucial to escape the middle-income trap. Carbon taxation is implemented, and a just energy transition is carried out with firm policies.

Responding for candidate 03, Manik Marganamahendra, stressed the urgency of a paradigm shift in economic development to inherit a sustainable environment for future generations. He also reminded that calculating the economic burden due to environmental damage is crucial. Candidate 03 itself has an ambitious energy transition target for Indonesia, namely 25-30%, and supports initiatives like Nusantara Grid. Additionally, candidate 03 advocates for the development of green and blue economies empowering the community. They also agree to halt deforestation legally by separating indigenous and state forests.

In this opportunity, representatives from Nafas also had the chance to ask questions to the respondents. We inquired about the multi-stakeholder strategy each candidate adopts to address pollution source issues and their future energy transition plans, as well as how they intend to implement these plans in the mission to reduce emissions and air pollution.

The representative from candidate 01 stated that they would create a pollutant dispersion map and calculate new pollutants to identify those that need measurement. They plan to strengthen ambient air quality standards (AAQS), and improve the monitoring system. In the future, the Air Pollution Index (ISPU) and Air Quality Index (AQI) will be merged to have consistent methodology. They also plan to build solar power plants in elementary schools to instill the idea that energy should be new and renewable in the younger generation.

The campaign team for candidate 02 conveyed that they have a track record of building waste-to-energy power plants (PLTSa) in Solo, which they plan to replicate in various regions in Indonesia. They aim to expand Cirata solar power plant to become the largest in Asia.

The representative from candidate 03 stated their strong commitment to having the highest renewable energy blend target and initiating self-sufficient energy villages. They address pollution sources by promoting public transportation, and they plan to develop solar power plants as an alternative to fossil fuels.

May the leaders of Indonesia support energy transition and air pollution control, making the country committed to environmental sustainability and public health.