Jakarta, Petrominer – The government, in this case, the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources (ESDM), is required to seriously implement a policy of limiting coal production in 2019 to 400 million tons. The limitation is the mandate of the 2015-2019 Medium-Term Development Plan (RPJM) and the National Energy General Plan (RUEN).

“Do not let the RPJMN and RUEN just become documents but far from implementation, and coal restrictions only become a dream,” said National Mining Advocacy Network (JATAM) Coordinator, Merah Johansyah Ismail, Sunday (16/7).

Merah said that he doubted the government’s commitment, especially after the letter to the Ministry of PPN / Ministry of National Development Planning from the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources about coal production plans. The letter contained a planned coal production in 2017 of 477.91 million tons, or 64.9 million tons higher than the RPJMN data for 2017 coal production of 413 million tons.

According to him, strategic steps besides the production restriction policy have also been stated in the RUEN, namely the moratorium on the granting of Mining Business Permits (IUP) and Special Mining Business Permits (IUPK) of coal in primary natural forests and peatlands in conservation forests, protected forests, production forests, and other areas of use.

“The moratorium is very important to prevent further damage from mining in protected areas,” Merah stated.

There are at least 26 action plans regarding coal from Presidential Regulation (Perpres) No. 22/2017 regarding RUEN that must be implemented with different time targets. Unfortunately, there are no strict rules regarding sanctions or incentive mechanisms if there are violations from companies and provinces that violate them.

Apart from violating these rules, the government should be even more radically demanded to reduce the national coal production. Everything must be rechecked by considering the carrying capacity and carrying capacity of the environment and ecosystems of the Indonesian archipelago.

“At present, 44 percent of Indonesia’s land and water is in the mining area, 10 percent in the mining area which overlaps with 4.4 million hectares of productive agricultural land,” Merah said.

Prices go down

A similar sentiment was also conveyed by Publish What You Pay (PWYP) Indonesia. This NGO consortium demanded the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources to seriously implement the policy of limiting coal production in 2019 to 400 million tons, according to the mandate of the 2015-2019 RPJMN and RUEN. In addition, the Indonesian government has committed to reducing earth temperatures below 2 degrees Celsius, through climate change agreements in Paris and Morocco.

Coal Governance Researcher, PWYP Indonesia, Agung Budiono said the current production trend experienced a decline, namely in 2015 as many as 461 million tons and 2016 as many as 434 million tons. However, the driving factor for the decline was not due to a policy of restriction, but rather the factor of price reduction.

“The proof is that in 2017 the government revised the target to be very high. Therefore, the government should develop a specific strategy on how to regulate PKP2B and IUP in the Province to comply with restrictions. The main obstacle certainly occurs in the Province, but this is a challenge for the government over the policies it has made. We have to find a solution together, “said Agung.

According to him, there are at least two important things that must be encouraged in order to implement a policy of limiting coal production. First, the need for seriousness in changing the paradigm of energy management, which is no longer dependent on the use of fossil energy such as coal on a massive scale.

“The government must start thinking about coal as one of the pillars of state revenue, because as long as the government still thinks coal and extractive resources are the revenue and fiscal foundation. As a result, it will be very difficult for us to get out of dependence on fossil energy, “Agung said.

Source: Petrominer