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 Coal
However, Boca Raton Mayor Scott Singer later clarified that there are no plans at this time to issue citations to anyone who does not follow the recommendations.Other municipalities in South Florida, particularly in hard-hit Miami-Dade County, are now requiring everyone to wear face coverings inside businesses like grocery stores, pharmacies and restaurants.Within Palm Beach County, Delray Beach and Boca Raton are among the municipalities with the most COVID-19 cases. Two cities in south Palm Beach County announced Thursday afternoon that they are recommending their residents and visitors wear face masks in public, in an effort to stop the spread of coronavirus.Boca Raton and Delray Beach took the precautionary steps within hours of each other.The actions come after the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated its guidelines this week and recommended that people wear “cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies), especially in areas of significant community-based transmission.”The Boca Raton executive order adds that people should not use surgical masks or N95-rated masks, which are “critical supplies for health care workers, police, fire, emergency management, or other persons engaged in life and safety activities.” Chrissy Gibson, the communications and marketing manager Boca Raton, says if people defy an emergency order with a mandate, authorities could issue a “notice to appear” in court.If a judge determines the person was violating the order intentionally, the individual could be charged with a second-degree misdemeanor, Gibson adds.