JAKARTA – Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources is urged to seriously implemented the policy of restriction and reduce coal production in 2019 become 400 million ton. The restriction of coal production is a mandate from Medium Term Development Plan (RPJM) 2015-2019 and The General Planning of National Energy (RUEN).

The coordinator of National Mining Advocacy Network (JATAM), Merah Johansyah Ismail said, that his side doubting the government’s commitment, moreover after the issuance of letter from Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources to Ministry of National Development Planning that mentioned the production plan in 2017 reach 477,91 million ton or 64,9 million ton higher that National Medium Term Development Plan (RPJM) for 2017 that is 413 million ton. “Do not let the RPJMN and RUEN just merely a document and not implemented, and the coal production restriction just become a dream.

According to Merah, the strategic move besides the policy of coal production restriction it also has written in RUEN that is the moratorium of awarding coal mining permit and special mining permit in conservation forest, protected forest, production forest, and other usage areas. “Moratorium is really important to prevent the damage from mining in protected area,” said Merah.

To be known, at least there is 26 action plan related to coal in Presidential Regulation no. 22/2017 on RUEN that should be implemented with different targeted time. Unfortunately, there is no strict rule about sanctions or disincentive mechanism if there any violation from companies and provinces who,” said Merah.

“Exclude all of the violation of the regulation, the government should be prosecuted even more radical to decrease the number of national coal production, all have to be rechecked with considering the supporting capacity and carrying capacity of the environment and the ecosystem of the Indonesian archipelago. Nowadays, 44% of the land and water are coopted by the mining, 10% coopted by coal mining that overlapped with 4,4 million hectares of productive agriculture land,” added Merah.

“The obligation to decrease the national coal production did not exist in empty space. It because the government of Indonesia has committed to holding down the earth temperature below 2 degree due to climate change, through climate change agreement in Paris and Morocco. Do not forget that the signing of the agreement in decreasing the carbon emission of 29% (in business as usual) and 41% (if there are support internal cooperation) are contributed by coal sector. It is the time for the government to do moratorium for the new coal mining permit,” said Merah.

Researcher of Coal Governance, Publish What You Pay Indonesia, Agung Budiono said that although the production trend is falling down, that in 2015 that is 461 million ton and in 2016 is 434 million ton. However the driving factor of the decrease is not caused by the restriction policy, but the price decline factor.

“The fact, in 2017 government revised the target become so high. Because of that, the government should arrange the special strategy to regulate the Coal Contract of Work and Mining Permit in the province to comply with production restriction policy. The main obstacle exactly happened in Province, but it also an obstacle for the central government. It should be found the way out,” said Agung.

According to Agung, at least there are two important things that should be promoted in implementing the coal production restriction policy. First, It needs a seriousness in changing the energy management paradigm, that does not depend on the massive fossil energy utilization anymore like coal.

“Government should have started to think about coal as one of the support of state revenue because as long as the government still see the coal and extractive resource as the main support for fiscal and state revenue, it would not be easy to exit from fossil energy dependency. The second, it needs a strong political will in implementing the policy. “If the government has had a strong political will, it should be there is no compromise room anymore for other group interests,” said Agung.