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Observing Prabowo Subianto’s Climate Crisis Mitigation Policy

The climate crisis has become a public concern, both in Indonesia and the world. Various ecological disasters due to the climate crisis have occurred in various corners of the world. According to data from the World Meteorological Agency (WMO), the number of climate disasters worldwide has increased fivefold in the last 50 years. There have been more than 11,000 hydrometeorological disasters between 1970 and 2019. 

Increasing climate disasters are also occurring in Indonesia. According to data from the National Disaster Management Agency (BNPB), the increasing trend in the number of climate disaster events in Indonesia has increased to 82% from 2010 to 2022. The increasing number of climate disasters in various parts of the world, including Indonesia, indicates that collaboration is needed in overcoming the climate crisis. Indonesia and other countries cannot be alone in overcoming this climate disaster.

In the midst of the need for countries to join hands to overcome the climate crisis, a speech by Prabowo Subianto , winner of the 2024 presidential election, emerged which gave a negative signal regarding collaboration in overcoming the climate crisis. “Don’t let anyone lecture Indonesia about climate change ,” said Prabowo Subianto at the 2024 Mandiri Investment Forum (MIF). His statement worried many people. Because this statement implies that the new government will be reluctant to get input from various parties regarding handling the climate crisis.

The direction of climate crisis policy in the next five years does not appear to be on the right path. This is not only visible from Prabowo Subianto’s statement at the Mandiri Investment Forum (MIF) 2024, but also seen from his various other political statements on various occasions which clearly will continue President Joko Widodo’s development model.

The Jokowism development model is based on the anthropocentrism paradigm. This paradigm places human interests at the center of everything. As a consequence, nature is only placed to fulfill unlimited human interests. Natural destruction is an inevitability of the anthropocentrism paradigm that is the basis of Jokowism.

Projects that destroy nature from the Jokowism model can be seen in the destruction of forests for failed food estate projects. On several occasions, Prabowo and Gibran have openly planned to continue this project that is destroying nature.

In the anthropocentrism paradigm, which is the basis of Jokowism, the emergence of false solutions to the climate crisis is inevitable. One of the energy transition pseudo-solution projects is Carbon Capture Storage (CCS). At the end of his term of office, precisely at the end of January, President Jokowi issued Presidential Regulation (Perpres) Number 14 of 2024 concerning the Implementation of Carbon Capture and Storage Activities. This presidential decree will become the legal umbrella for CCS activities in Indonesia. In fact, if we examine it further, the use of CCS technology will only extend the lifespan of fossil energy use. In fact, the longer fossil energy remains in use, the more difficult it is to develop renewable energy.

The wrong direction in policy for handling the climate crisis in the next five years is also apparent from Prabowo Subianto’s track record in the energy sector. According to the Mining Advocacy Network (Jatam), an NGO, as written on its website, based on the company deed, Prabowo Subianto is the sole shareholder in PT Nusantara Energy. The coal company has a concession area of ​​4,793 hectares in Berau, East Kalimantan. 

Prabowo Subianto, according to Jatam records, is also one of the shareholders of PT Nusantara Kaltim Coal, which was founded in 2005. PT Nusantara Kaltim Coal has a coal mining concession covering an area of ​​11,040 hectares in East Kutai Regency, East Kalimantan. The position of director of this company is held by Hendrik Lewerissa who is also Chairman of the Gerindra Maluku DPD and member of the Indonesian DPR for the 2019-2024 period. In the 2024 Election, Hendrik will hold a position on the Maluku Regional Campaign Team for the Prabowo-Gibran pair.

Not only that, in the last presidential election, Prabowo also received support from capital owners in the fossil energy sector , including coal. Even coal company boss Garibaldi ‘Boy’ Thohir confidently expressed his support for Prabowo Subianto. 

The next question is whether in the next five years, the public can hope that Prabowo Subianto can seriously end Indonesia’s dependence on dirty coal energy to switch to renewable energy , if he is part of the coal industry itself? Is it possible that Prabowo Subianto will be able to control his own interests and those of those closest to him who have businesses in the fossil energy industry? The answer is very difficult, not to say impossible.

Prabowo Subianto and Gibran’s wrong direction in handling the climate crisis is also the impact of their vision and mission documents. In their vision and mission document, the Prabowo-Gibran couple stated that they would prioritize green energy originating from palm oil. Palm oil-based green energy is very problematic. This palm oil-based green energy will have the potential to encourage reckless expansion of palm oil in forests. Deforestation rates are certain to increase. If that happens, it will not only worsen biodiversity but also place Indonesia as the largest contributor of greenhouse gases from the forestry sector. 

The public certainly cannot ignore the misguided climate crisis policies of the new government under Prabowo Subianto. If the public continues to remain silent, the direction of Indonesia’s climate crisis policy will get worse. If that happens the public will be increasingly vulnerable to becoming victims of the climate crisis. The public must continue to speak out that there is something wrong with climate policy so far and will continue in the next five years.

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