The Jakarta Post
The United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) has launched the SDG7 road map for Indonesia to help the country accomplish its sustainable energy goals amid the challenges posed by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
In a statement issued on Wednesday, ESCAP said the development of the national SDG7 road map in collaboration with Indonesia’s National Energy Council (DEN) aimed to enable policymakers to take measures that were proven to be instrumental in achieving targets for clean and affordable energy – including the emissions reduction goals stipulated in the Paris Agreement.
Indonesia is one of three pilot countries participating in the program.
“Indonesia is a leader in Southeast Asia and has been leading by example,” ESCAP executive secretary Armidala Salsiah Alisjahbana said, as quoted in the statement.
“The government’s role in reducing the fossil fuel subsidy has set a benchmark and is being demonstrated as one of world’s best practices.”
Although Indonesia is on track to accomplish its nationwide electrification program by the end of 2020 and its clean cooking program by 2022, a more robust policy framework is needed to give the country a leg up toward achieving renewable energy and energy efficiency targets under the seventh version of the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030, ESCAP noted.
The road map outlines an option for Indonesia to reach its target of 100 percent access to clean cooking by supplementing existing gas extension plans with surplus electricity via energy-efficient induction stoves.
“The share of renewable energy will need to increase to 22 percent of total final energy consumption, which is a 6 percent increase from the current rate, to enable Indonesia to achieve its SDG 7 target,” ESCAP wrote.
Experts have warned that economic contraction, deepening poverty and swelling unemployment as a result of the coronavirus emergency are likely to hinder Indonesia’s efforts to achieve the SDGs by 2030.
COVID-19 has hit the poorest Indonesians – those who work in the informal sector – the hardest, which has inhibited the nation’s progress toward the elimination of poverty, the first SDG.
The pandemic-induced financial crisis has threatened global food supplies and forced renewable energy development to compete with low fossil fuel prices, which the National Development Planning Agency (Bappenas) has suggested has slowed progress toward the elimination of hunger – the second SGD – and affordable and clean energy – the seventh goal.