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
The Indonesian Embassy in Cairo said in a statement on Sunday that the special flight would also be used to repatriate around 80 Egyptian citizens who were now stranded in Bali and Jakarta back to their country.The voluntary repatriation was due to the closure of international flights in Egypt since March 19. The Indonesian Embassy and the Egyptian government agreed to provide the special flight — bound for Bali and Jakarta — and charged US$700 for each ticket.“Initially, there were 100 [Indonesian] citizens who were interested to participate in the voluntary repatriation,” said Indonesian Ambassador to Egypt Helmy Fauzy.He said the number dropped to 75 after the embassy announced that the repatriation was only for those who had urgent matters at home. Topics : On the same day, 37 Indonesians departed Vietnam’s Tan Son Nhat International Airport in Ho Chi Minh City using Vietjet Airlines flight VJ888.They had been stranded in the country for the past month due to travel restrictions imposed by the Vietnamese government to curb the spread of COVID-19.The special flight cost $278 per seat — a discount from the normal fare of $385 — and carried Indonesian citizens who had visited Vietnam for internships, traveling as well as workers who had been laid off.The Indonesian Embassy in Bangkok, with the help of national flag carrier Garuda Indonesia, repatriated 66 Indonesians on Friday. Most of the Indonesians were embassy interns or exchange students. The embassy previously facilitated the repatriation of 356 Indonesians in Thailand following the Thai government’s decision to ban flights from April 4 to April 30.A day earlier, the Indonesian Embassy in Colombo also facilitated the repatriation of 335 Indonesian migrant workers in Sri Lanka.The embassies said the repatriations were conducted accordingly with standardized health protocols.The government has yet to issue a statement regarding the handling of the returnees upon their arrival in Jakarta or Bali, and whether they will be allowed to return to their hometown after domestic flights and other inter-provincial means of transportation were halted due to a mudik (exodus) ban that will be in place until June 1. With the help of diplomatic missions abroad, dozens of Indonesian citizens have been repatriated in the past week following flight restrictions imposed in some countries because of the COVID-19 pandemic.Although the government has stated there was no policy for structured repatriation, the stranded citizens — most of whom were short-term visitors — were eager to come home at their own expense.On Sunday, at least 75 Indonesians who had been stranded in Egypt arrived in Jakarta via a special Air Cairo flight. The returnees included migrant workers, students as well as those who visited the country for training and traveling.