The government is considered to be in a dilemma between improving depressed macroeconomic conditions or committing to the Paris Agreement. – The government through the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources (ESDM) increases the coal production target by 21.9 million tons or from 485 million tons to 506.9 million tons in 2018. This policy is part of the government’s strategy to increase foreign exchange reserves when the rupiah depreciated to more than Rp15,000 per US dollar.

This was emphasized by the Director of Coal Business Development at the Directorate General of Mineral and Coal (Minerba), Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources, Sri Raharjo. According to him, the additional production target is one of the government’s ways to strengthen the rupiah exchange rate that has depreciated in the past month.

“The additional 21.9 million is all for export, it is not subject to the DMO [domestic market obligation or obligation to supply domestic needs] for coal. There is a policy to increase foreign exchange reserves so that it is a policy to increase the amount of national production, “he said in Jakarta, Thursday (4/10/2018).

“If the rupiah is weak, then there is a possibility of boosting production [for export]” said Sri Raharjo.

However, this policy to increase coal production contradicts the government’s commitment to the Paris Agreement, which focuses on mitigating global climate change. One of the reasons for this is the emission of coal exhaust gases which are not environmentally friendly.

The Paris Agreement is an agreement in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) on the mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions, adaptation, and finance.

It is hoped that this approval will be effective in 2020.

This agreement was negotiated by 195 country representatives at the 21st United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris, France. After the negotiation process, this agreement was signed right on the commemoration of Earth Day on April 22, 2016 in New York, United States.

As of March 2017, 194 countries have signed this agreement and 141 of them have ratified the agreement. Indonesia is one of the countries that signed this agreement on 22 April 2016. The percentage of greenhouse gases ratified by Indonesia is 1.49 percent.

Responding to this, the National Coordinator for Publish What You Pay (PWYP), Maryati Maryati Abdullah said the government’s move to increase coal production reflected the inconsistency of the agreement. Although there are no sanctions, he said, these actions show that the government is inconsistent.

“From there, it can be seen that what is done on paper is inconsistent. When there is a fiscal deficit and when the price of [coal] is high, production is added, the PLTU is added. Starting from the upstream, increasing production has no vision of controlling climate change, “said Maryati to Tirto, Friday (5/10/2018).

The Paris Agreement, said Maryati, requires high commitment because basically, this agreement is voluntary in nature, there is no written material sanction given. “This is actually the same as voluntary and requires high commitment. There is no direct sanction. But [it is] our mirror of international agreements, “said Maryati.

Even without any sanctions, according to him, there will be logical consequences for the state if it does not comply with the agreement. “Our country is prone to disasters, it [the increase in the amount of coal] will worsen from an environmental perspective,” said Maryati.

It would be better if, he said, the government should encourage the exploitation of coal resources according to domestic needs only. At least 50:50. Unfortunately, he said, currently the opposite is happening. For example, in the first semester of 2018, from a coal production range of 400 million tons, domestic absorption was only 20 percent, while 80 percent was exported.

“Don’t rely on coal because it is very risky,” reminded Maryati.

According to him, the higher the export target or coal production, the higher the emissions that can be produced. “Coal on the climate change commitment side has two risks. First, emissions are the use of coal in making PLTU. Second, coal mining itself in several areas has resulted in a forest clearing, ”he said.

Meanwhile, the Executive Director of the ReforMiner Institute, Komaidi Notonegoro, said that the government’s condition is in a dilemma between improving depressed macroeconomic conditions or committing to the Paris agreement for the sustainability of natural resources, climate, and the environment globally.

“In the short term there is no choice, so that is what the government can do to improve the rupiah. If [pushing production] apart from natural resources is difficult for us, “Komaidi told Tirto, Friday (5/10/2018).

“The choice is between obeying the Paris Agreement or the economy is getting worse. So in my opinion it is relatively difficult, and in my opinion, the government prefers to save rupiah rather than obey the agreement itself,” he said.