Jakarta – Publish What You Pay (PWYP) Indonesia held a focus group discussion entitled Mainstreaming Gender Equality, Disability, and Social Inclusion (GEDSI) in the Just Energy Transition in Indonesia on May 10, 2023, in Central Jakarta. Present at this event are Ahmad Ashov Birry, Program Director of Trend Asia; Mike Verawati Tangka, Secretary General of the Indonesian Women’s Coalition; and Nurul Saadah, Director of the Advocacy Center for Women, Disabilities and Children (SAPDA), as resource persons. The aim is to convey the initial draft of the policy paper prepared by PWYP Indonesia and obtain input and suggestions for the draft policy paper.

Aryanto Nugroho, National Coordinator of PWYP Indonesia, gave a speech conveying a vital question related to the concept of justice when contextualized with the energy transition. Ensuring justice means involving communities and vulnerable groups in essential discussions on the energy transition process in Indonesia. The concept of justice and GEDSI principles in Indonesia’s energy transition must also be applied so that people and vulnerable groups can benefit as best as possible.

The critical questions in this study include how is the conception of justice in the energy transition in Indonesia; how the regulatory framework related to gender mainstreaming, disability, and social inclusion in the energy sector in Indonesia; as well as how the GEDSI approach is in a just energy transition in Indonesia.

The Writing Team presented an initial draft of the Policy Brief for GEDSI Mainstreaming in the Just Energy Transition in Indonesia. This study highlights that a just energy transition needs attention to the required inclusivity along the value chain. Incorporating the GEDSI approach into a just energy transition in Indonesia presents significant challenges. Men have traditionally dominated the energy sector, and women and other marginalized groups are often excluded from decision-making processes. The importance of distributional, recognition, procedural, and remedial aspects needs to be considered in a just energy transition process.

Several policy frameworks for accelerating the energy transition and gender mainstreaming in Indonesia have been contained in Law Number 30 of 2007 concerning energy; Government Regulation Number 79 of 2014; Presidential Regulation Number 22 of 2017; Presidential Regulation Number 112 of 2022; Presidential Instruction Number 9 of 2000; Law Number 32 of 2009; and Minister of Environment and Forestry Regulation Number 31 of 2017.

Meanwhile, the energy transition scheme in Indonesia is contained in the Paris Agreement, where Law Number 16 of 2016 has included its commitment to Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC). Indonesia’s commitment has been included in the Long Term and Low Carbon Strategy (LTS LCCR 2050), submitted in 2021—also the roadmap towards net zero emissions in the Indonesian energy sector 2060. Indonesia’s energy transition agenda focuses on decarbonizing the electricity sector to encourage clean energy development, coal power plant early retirement, and increased energy efficiency.

There are still several notes on the energy transition agenda in Indonesia. Namely, there is still a dependence on the use of coal and the increasing impact on environmental pollution; Environmental pollution has a broad impact on social and economic aspects; There is no meaningful public participation; There is no effective and publicly accessible complaints mechanism; There is no disclosure of general information; The issue of energy transition is very thick with masculinity; Low choice in using the potential of local wisdom for alternative sources; Extractivism-based development model.

Ahmad Ashov Birry explained Indonesia’s values and principles of a fair and sustainable energy transition. The energy transition must be a process that replaces extractive and centralized patterns of energy provision to become regenerative and democratic. A just and sustainable energy transition must come from renewable energy sources managed based on values and principles that are just, sovereign, anti-corruption, and increase the resilience of people’s livelihoods and support efforts to tackle the climate crisis.

The Indonesian government must manifest accountable, transparent, and participatory principles to achieve an energy transition. The Indonesian government must ensure the fair distribution of information regarding the energy transition process to all stakeholders, significantly affected communities, including women, children, groups with disabilities, and vulnerable communities. Representation of affected groups, such as labor, local, vulnerable, and minority groups, must be included in the decision-making process. Other principles that must be upheld are respect for and fulfillment of the protection of human rights, ecological justice, economic justice, and transformative.

Various gender issues in the environmental sector include inequality in the supply of electrical energy, where there are still differences between Western and Eastern Indonesia. Jakarta and Java Island have access to electricity up to 90 percent, but NTT is still below 60 percent. In total, 41 million people in Indonesia do not have access to electricity. The use of traditional energy contributes to air pollution and causes the quality of life, especially for women, older adults, and children, to be of concern.

Mike Verawati highlighted the problems that still occur in the energy transition process, including marginalization, disparities in access, and limited policies to overcome discrimination. Other issues include gender disaggregated data that is not yet ready or has become a standardized data system; a representation that is not yet inclusive where not all community groups are involved; and the charity program paradigm, in which the social assistance system must also intersect with aspects towards more sustainable resilience.

Mike conveyed the theory of change if all genders, women, persons with disabilities, and vulnerable populations can have equal access to decision-making and the same participation. A system that is equal, just, and inclusive of the individual, community and vulnerable groups will be empowered to create a journey of a just energy transition in Indonesia.

Nurul Saadah explained inclusivity in planning a just energy transition policy from a Gender and Disability perspective. Groups that fall into the vulnerable category include children, persons with disabilities, women, older people, people with low economies, and disaster survivors.

For a long time, everyone with physical, intellectual, mental, and sensory limitations has experienced obstacles in interacting in the social environment. These barriers also apply to full participation with other citizens based on equal rights.

Nurul conveyed ways to plan energy transitions for people with disabilities; the first is Access, where people with disabilities and groups of women with children with disabilities have access to information and education about energy transition from fossil-based energy to cleaner and more sustainable energy. The second is Control, where the ability of persons with disabilities to make decisions to do or not to take action and make decisions about the energy transition process and allocating resources.

Third is Participation; persons with disabilities have knowledge, attitudes, and actions in development activities, including planning, implementing, monitoring, and evaluating the energy transition of the community or their group. And the last one is Benefit, where the benefits resulting from the energy transition and its programs are felt directly or indirectly by persons with disabilities.

Writer: Chitra Regina Apris
Reviewer: Aryanto Nugroho