The administration of President Joko Widodo in Indonesia is currently pushing a slate of environmental deregulation policies through proposing over 1,200 amendments to 80 existing laws in parliament. While the government claims that these policies will boost the country’s economic growth, experts are warning that they will threaten to dismantle the already small number of existing protections against environmental destruction
in Indonesia, paving the way for more climate disasters. The country has already been inundated with a number of devastating climate-induced events, from deadly flooding to deforestation and disappearing glaciers
The Indonesian government is preparing to submit to parliament two new bills with over 1,200 proposed amendments to 80 laws, claiming that they will help attract investment and boost the stagnant economic growth that the country has experienced since 2014. However, experts and climate activists have pointed out that many of these changes will involve deregulating crucial conservation and environmental protection laws, in blatant neglect of the intensifying climate emergency and the threat it poses to socioeconomic and physical security.
One of the most controversial proposed changes pushed by Widodo’s administration is to loosen the current requirements for corporations to carry out environmental impact analysis. Under the existing law, the practice – locally called Amdal – ensures that companies must obtain the environmental permit assessing for potential conservation and health risks from the environment ministry or local authorities before any project is allowed to go ahead.
Unfortunately, despite the available data evidencing the bigger costs incurred by ignoring climate change, Indonesia is not alone in their plans to further fuel the most pressing issue our planet faces. Recently, Japan revealed their plans to build 22 new coal-burning facilities within the next 5 years
, in opposition to residents and activists who have criticised the disruption the coal plans will have on the much needed push towards clean energy.