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Jakarta Post

Religious leaders back renewable energy use

  • The Jakarta Post

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Tue, September 29, 2015   /  05:10 pm

Religious figures have called on world leaders and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to make a bold pledge of 100 percent renewable energy use by 2050 to curb impacts of climate change.

Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) advisory council chairman Din Syamsuddin, who is also the chairman of the steering committee of a group called Indonesia Moves to Save the Earth (SIAGA Bumi), is leading Indonesia'€™s petition on change.org, collecting support from more than 307,000 people.

'€œThe environmental crisis is the most devastating threat to human civilization. [It] is indeed a manifestation of a moral crisis. Religions, in this context, are needed to provide moral and ethical values against the sustainable development goals,'€ Din said.

The pledge, which describes climate change as '€œone of the greatest moral challenges of our time'€, is meant to pressurize politicians to create a new global climate change agreement during the UN climate change summit in Paris in December.

Along with Din, Nobel peace laureate and former archbishop of Cape Town Desmond Tutu, Supreme Patriarch of Cambodia Tep Vong, the former Grand Mufti of Egypt Sheikh Ali Gomaa and Cardinal Damasceno Assis, the Archbishop of Aparecida in São Paulo, Brazil, have also campaigned to pressure politicians to make bold commitments in Paris.

A discussion on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that is currently ongoing in New York is also pressing all UN members to increase targets for renewable energy use by two times in 2030 compared to current use, according to William Sabandar, a senior advisor on renewable energy for the Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry.

'€œIn Indonesia currently, only 6 percent of our total energy is renewable. The SDGs mean we have to reach 12 percent use by 2030 but we actually already have a government regulation on renewable energy use that targets 23 percent use by 2025 and around 31 percent in 2050.

To target 100 percent of it is realistically impossible unless world leaders are really committed and support each other,'€ William told The Jakarta Post on Monday.

'€œThe developed countries could help developing countries with technology because many don'€™t have any,'€ he added.

Meanwhile, at a summit in Bavaria in June, G7 leaders including US President Barack Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel pledged to end the use of fossil fuels by the end of 2100, but critics have said that the transition to renewable needs to be faster if the internationally agreed target to keep global warming within 2 degrees Celsius is to be met. (rbk)

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