Indonesia is the world’s largest archipelagic country with huge natural biodiversity both in tropical forest and in ocean. Unfortunately, this year, Indonesia became one of the top 5 biggest carbon emitters in the world due to massive deforestation, large-scale peat fire, land degradation, and waste mismanagement. Nevertheless, the country continues to actively seek for cooperation and collaboration with many countries to solve those issues comprehensively.

Accordingly, at the present, the world is in euphoria to welcome the 21th Conference of the Parties (COP21) - United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Paris, France this month. It will be a historical moment to creating the new global agreement or even a protocol to replace the Kyoto Protocol which will be expired this year.  In addition to that, the international community now becomes more aware of the most challenging issue in the 21st century, climate change. Also, with 148 INDCs (Intended Nationally Determined Contribution) submission to UNFCCC reflecting 175 countries, global society now is getting closer to make ‘new world voice’ towards greener and more sustainable earth.

Specifically, for Indonesia itself, the submitted INDC in last September just declared an unconditional greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction target of 29% and a conditional 41% reduction by 2030. Many international NGOs that focus on climate issues were disappointed with this ‘unclear’ commitment due to huge potential to boost the reduction target especially from energy sectors, encouraging divestment from fossil energy sources and investing more in clean and renewable energy sources. In line with it, Inspirator Muda Nusantara as youth empowerment organization also reflects dissatisfaction with Indonesia’s INDC especially related to young people potentials in solving climate change issues here.

First, mentioned that “for unconditional emissions reduction by 2020, it will be implemented through effective land use and spatial planning, sustainable forest management which include social forestry program, restoring functions of degraded ecosystems, improved agriculture and fisheries products, energy conservation and the promotion of clean and renewable energy sources, and improved waste management” (source: Indonesia’s INDC Document Page 5), but in the fact, still many home works to be done. For example, in sustainable forest management, there is abuse of political power over regulation, human rights violation on indigenous forest communities, and even massive illegal corporation actions caused by corruptive local bureaucracies. Then, in promotion of clean and renewable energy sources, there is still  a lack of commitment from the government to collaborate with companies and research centers to implement the national action plan besides lack of encouragement to local government in realizing the goals as well. Also, there is a serious discrepancy, because now Indonesia ambitiously builds 35,000 Megawatt Power Plant that potentially powered by coal in large portion and possibly nuclear too, contrast with the pledge of 23% renewable energy sources in Indonesia’s energy by 2030, while before also already published the Blueprint for National Energy Development 2006-2025 of this pledged 17% renewable energy goal in 2025.

Second, detailing on the INDC document, the government only explaining that Indonesia now has the largest population of young people and workforce in its history without giving clear and strong commitment on youth’s role as part of solution. The so-called demographic bonus in Indonesia is only a jargon with no really extra efforts to optimize young peoples in achieving national development goals more progressively. In short, climate change issues in Indonesian government perspective seem like to just follow the global trend without endorsing substantial message and taking considerable efforts into the domestic level. Additionally, the government is unaware about creating green jobs that can bring benefits for both reducing unemployment and settling climate-related problems at the same time. Green jobs are more closely related to young people who can contribute significantly to conserve and protect the ecosystems of forests and oceans where significant amount of global biodiversity is placed in the archipelago. Strong political will, the basic component that the government has, is very urgently required to bring new innovation in policy-making processes including real youth active engagement in climate change.

Third, concerning low-emission development strategies (LEDS) with definition from OECD (Christa Clapp,, 2010), it can be said that Indonesia still lags behind to make remarkable achievements. Caused by weaknesses in LEDS elements such as assessment of current situation, emission projections, vulnerability assessment, finance, and institutional arrangements, Indonesia still heavily depends on foreign technical assistance and cooperation without significantly improving the capacity of national human resources, policy management, science and technology to act on LEDS policies. Comprehensive strategies and clear directions for both macro-policy and micro-policy is really required to invite all stakeholders to join actively in supporting LEDS implementation(Arianto A. Patunru in Aris Ananta, (ed), 2013). Even, in the INDCs, no specific mention about national LEDS strategies by 2016-2030 and also the working mechanisms of the Indonesia Climate Change Trust Fund (ICCTF)in supporting the emission reduction target.

Finally, to conclude, Inspirator Muda Nusantara encourages the government of the Republic of Indonesia to take more serious commitment in planning, executing, and monitoring and evaluating its climate plan 2030. We reaffirm our strong support in the dimension of active young peoples participation to support the goal of national carbon emission reduction especially on climate adaptation.   

Inspirator Muda Nusantara is a youth empowerment community organization, based in Bandung-Indonesia. We are signatory of the Global Partnership for Youth 2015 (GPY2015) and member of Asia Pacific Regional CSOs Engagement Mechanism (AP-RCEM) under UNESCAP. We are focusing on improving Indonesian youth global competitiveness through freedom of information and education. Please check out our FB