Jakarta. Being blessed with abundant renewable energy sources, Indonesia has the potential to become a climate superpower, according to British diplomats.
“Indonesia has an absolutely extraordinary renewable energy potential, which is at least six times the current total energy demand. This is why the COP26 president-designate Alok Sharma has called Indonesia as a potential climate superpower,” British Ambassador to Indonesia Owen Jenkins told a press conference in Jakarta on Thursday.
As a climate superpower, Indonesia plays a critical role in climate action, given its size, G20 membership and upcoming presidency.
“As well as its extraordinary natural resources — its forests, which are vital for millions of livelihoods and for absorbing greenhouse gas emissions and fossil fuels,” Owen said.
The diplomat praised Indonesia’s progress and ambitions in slashing emission, including the latter's target to turn its forestry and other land use sector into a net carbon sink by 2030.
But at the same time, he hoped Indonesia would aim for net zero emission by 2050 — a decade earlier than its current goal.
“We welcome Indonesia’s openness in considering higher ambition towards net zero [by] 2050, and earlier coal phase-out if there is efficient support from developed countries,” Owen said.
“I encourage Indonesia to be as ambitious as possible at COP. We need all countries, including Indonesia, to do so to save our planet,” he added.
The COP26 is just around the corner.
The climate summit is set to take place from October 31 to November 12 in Glasgow.
Consigning coal to history is among COP26’s priorities, according to Amanda McLoughlin, the development director at the British Embassy in Indonesia.
"There has never been a better time to transition from fossil fuels. The alternatives have become cheaper, more efficient, and more widely available than ever before," Amanda told the same conference.
Since 2010, the costs of solar power has fallen by 85 percent. Wind power cost has also dropped by 49 percent. Investors are increasingly turning their attention towards renewable energy opportunities instead of fossil fuels.
"We see all of this as a huge opportunity for Indonesia, which has the potential to become a global leader in renewable energy. A climate superpower that provides clean, affordable, and reliable power across the country, while creating new industries and job opportunities at the same time," Amanda said.