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Indonesia, Despite Coal-Industry Collapse, Continues to Develop More Coal

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Nithin Coca for Equal Times Indonesia:What do you do when your top export – coal – is down, production is falling and a new global climate accord calls for sharp cuts in CO2 emissions? Convert to greener energy? Contrary to some of its neighbours, Indonesia is going headlong in the other direction: burning more coal to boost demand.With production more than 30 million tonnes below projections last year, the government is nearly quadrupling the number of coal-fired power plants, building 117 new plants throughout the country, which will provide 10,000 megawatts of power generation capacity, on top of the existing 42.According to Arif Fiyanto, a coal campaigner with Greenpeace Indonesia, going forward with this plan would be devastating, in both environment and economic terms. “If the government continues down this path of kowtowing to coal interests, our beautiful country will be turned into a poisoned wasteland, producing a resource that fewer and fewer want to buy,” Fiyanto tells Equal Times.One key reason for the drop in Indonesia’s coal export figures is that shipments to China fell by half last year, due to both an economic slowdown, but also a push to reduce horrific smog levels throughout the country. In addition, recent developments show that Vietnam and India will not be able to fill that China-sized hole as expected.Earlier this month, Vietnam announced that it was abandoning its previously ambitious coal power plant plans in favour of “accelerated investment in renewable energy.” This was followed by news that India’s coal imports dropped by a much-higher-than expected 35 per cent last year due to massive oversupply and a quicker-than-expected expansion in renewables.“The structural decline of the seaborne thermal coal market is increasingly evident from the trends in China and India,” said Tim Buckley, a director of energy finance studies at the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis in a press statement.“That one of the leading coal developers in Southeast Asia, [Vietnam], is going to retreat from new coal plants further signals the terminal decline of the global coal industry,” he continued.This doesn’t bode well for Indonesia. In 2014 it was the world’s top exporter of the fossil fuel, sending 410 megatons of mostly thermal coal – most commonly used in power plants – to its power-hungry Asian neighbours. That’s because it produced the cheapest coal, in comparison to its competitors in Australia, Russia and the United States.However, cheap coal had a huge external cost. Producers relied on low-paid, mostly non-union labour, used environmentally degrading strip-mining techniques, and shipped via uncovered cargo ships which polluted waterways.If the Indonesian government’s plans go forward, it will only cement the control this destructive industry has over the country’s economy.Full article: Indonesia Swims Against the Global Green Tide With Its New Coal Commitments Indonesia, Despite Coal-Industry Collapse, Continues to Develop More Coallast_img read more