Transportation, Power Generation and Waste Sources of Air Pollution in Jakarta

For more than two years, a group of Jakarta residents who are members of the “Initiative Movement to Clean the Air of the Coalition of the Universe” (abbreviated as the Capital Movement), have been fighting in court to demand clean air in the heart of the capital. The lawsuit was filed on July 4, 2019. Dozens of decisions on the lawsuit were postponed, until last September 16 when the Central Jakarta District Court finally won their lawsuit. Then what’s the next step?

This is the main theme of the webinar entitled “Central Jakarta District Court Decision regarding Jakarta’s Clean Air Demand, What is the Next Step?” which was held on Thursday (7/10).

Ricky Amukti, manager at Tranction Energy Asia, a policy analysis agency that focuses on the issue of transitioning to clean renewable energy, said that there are three main sources of air pollution in the Special Capital Region of Jakarta, namely transportation, power generation and waste.

“The most dominant (sources of air pollution in Jakarta) are power plants and the transportation sector (the rest of the waste). For 30 percent of electricity generation, 50 percent of that is transportation,” said Ricky.

Ricky said that based on the data, there were around 16 million motorcycles and 3.6 million cars crossing the Jakarta area, including from the provinces of Banten and West Java, plus public transportation.

What is ironic is that air pollution from power plants is actually not under the jurisdiction of DKI Jakarta Province because seven power plants are located in Banten and the other three are in West Java.

Officials from the State Electricity Company (PLN) are carrying out maintenance on a power plant in Jakarta, August 30, 2010. (Photo: Illustration/Reuters)

Officials from the State Electricity Company (PLN) are carrying out maintenance on a power plant in Jakarta, August 30, 2010. (Photo: Illustration/Reuters)

To overcome this air pollution, Ricky proposes environmentally friendly fueled vehicles such as biodiesel, used cooking oil, bioethanol or electric power. As for electricity, Jakarta can use rooftop solar power plants (PLTS Atap). According to Ricky, Rooftop PLTS is very likely to be used because it is modular and will be more applicable if used in Jakarta, because it can be applied in tall buildings.

He added that actually in Jakarta, only 20 percent of PLTS Roof can reduce air pollution.

Dialogue with Central Government and DKI Stalled, Residents File Lawsuits

During the virtual discussion, the Director of the Cerah Indonesia Foundation, Adhityani Putri, said that the lawsuit filed in court demanding clean air was carried out because the dialogues with the central government and DKI Jakarta did not produce any results.

Putri emphasized that the lawsuit filed by the residents was not to ask for compensation for the poor air quality in DKI Jakarta.

A train moves on its track amid pollution in Jakarta, Thursday, September 16, 2021.

A train moves on its track amid pollution in Jakarta, Thursday, September 16, 2021.

“To get court support for what we propose. Does the court side with us? Do you agree that the air in Jakarta is bad? Do you agree that this is a problem that must be resolved? Second, to open a dialogue path because with the registration of a lawsuit, there is mediation, there is a dialogue facilitated by legal institutions,” said Putri.

Before the lawsuit was filed, added Putri, the movement demanding clean air was in a minor position. When asking for clarification, it is up to the government to listen or open the door to dialogue or not. But after going to court, the government must be present.

Putri explained that there were 32 plaintiffs and the Indonesia Cerah Foundation acted as supporters together with several other non-profit organizations. Half of the 32 plaintiffs have worked for environmental organizations and the other half are citizens from various backgrounds including entrepreneurs and housewives.

An environmental activist carries a doll and holds a placard outside the Central Jakarta Court, Jakarta, September 16, 2021.

An environmental activist carries a doll and holds a placard outside the Central Jakarta Court, Jakarta, September 16, 2021.

According to Putri, the lawsuit was submitted to seven state officials, namely the President, Minister of Health, Minister of Home Affairs, Minister of Environment and Forestry, Governor of DKI Jakarta, Governor of West Java and Governor of Banten.

DKI Jakarta Provincial Government Doesn’t File an Appeal

Special Envoy for the Governor of DKI Jakarta for Climate Change Irvan Pulungan said the reason the DKI Jakarta provincial government did not appeal the decision in favor of the plaintiff was because Governor Anies Baswedan’s vision was in line with the wishes of the 32 plaintiffs who demanded clean air and a healthy environment for Indonesian citizens.

According to him, the people’s movement to demand clean air began in 1980. At that time, the Minister of the Environment, Emil Salim, had a “Blue Sky” program to build accountability for clean air. This movement evolved in the 1990s where air quality advocacy was carried out through public education and campaigns.

In the 2000s, continued Irvan, the movement demanding clean air filed a lawsuit in court. He added that around 1989 Anies Baswedan had interviewed Emil Salim about the “Blue Sky” program so that there was a link between the vision of the Governor of Anies and the plaintiffs.

When the trial was running, five times of mediation in the trial failed to reach a mutual agreement. Because the vision is the same, the DKI Jakarta Provincial Government has taken the initiative to conduct two mediation outside the court process, namely on November 13 and 27, 2019.

“It turns out that from those meetings, we didn’t just link up, but it turned out that we spoke at the same level, in the same words, and in the same language. That led to the 15 demands that were filed by the plaintiff against the DKI Jakarta (provincial government), we found agreement in 13 (item),” said Irvan.

Meanwhile, the two demands that were not agreed upon, said Irvan, were incinerators (processing waste using incineration). At that time, DKI Jakarta asked the plaintiff to offer another technology for waste processing. Because Jakarta is flooded every day about eight thousand tons of garbage. However, until the end of the trial, the plaintiff did not propose an alternative technology so the agreement did not materialize.

The second point that was not agreed upon between DKI Jakarta and the plaintiff was the cancellation of the construction of six toll roads. Irvan emphasized that this project cannot be stopped because it is a national-level strategic activity

Irvan said that after the verdict in favor of the plaintiff was read on September 16, 2021 at 12:30, four hours later Governor Anies stated that he would not file an appeal. [fw/em]

Check Also

China’s Military Power Is Expected To Overtake The US And Russia In The Near Future

A US military general warned that it was only a matter of time before China’s …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.