Indonesia SDGs road map for clean, blue sky

Encouraged by the increasing interest of the international community in clean air, and emphasizing the need to make further efforts to improve air quality, including reducing air pollution, to protect human health, the General Assembly of the United Nations decided to designate 7 September as the International Day of Clean Air for blue skies.

Аir pollution is the single greatest environmental risk to human health and one of the main avoidable causes of death and disease globally, with some estimated 6.5 million premature deaths across the world in 2016 attributed to indoor and outdoor air pollution. 

Particularly in developing countries, air pollution disproportionately affects women, children and the elderly, especially in low-income populations as they are often exposed to high levels of ambient air pollution and indoor air pollution from cooking and heating with wood fuel and kerosene.

Аir pollution is a global problem with far-reaching impacts owing to its transport over long distances. In the absence of aggressive intervention, the number of premature deaths resulting from ambient air pollution is estimated to be on track to increase by more than 50 per cent by 2050.

Society bears a high cost of air pollution due to the negative impacts on the economy, work productivity, healthcare costs and tourism, among others. Hence, the economic benefits of investing in air pollution control cannot be overestimated, and it must be understood that there is also an economic rationale to act and that cost-effective solutions exist to address air pollution.

Poor air quality is a challenge in the context of sustainable development for all countries, in particular in cities and urban areas in developing countries, with levels of air pollution that are higher than the limits set out in the WHO air quality guidelines. 

Some air pollutants, such as black carbon, methane and ground-level ozone, are also short-lived climate pollutants and are responsible for a significant portion of air pollution-related deaths, as well as impacts on crops and hence food security, so their reduction has co-benefits for the climate.

International Day of Clean Air for blue skies

UN Member States recognize the need to substantially reduce the number of deaths and illnesses from hazardous chemicals and air, water and soil pollution and contamination by 2030, as well as to reduce the adverse per capita environmental impact of cities, including by paying special attention to air quality and municipal and other waste management by 2030.

Clean air is important for the health and day-to-day lives of people, while air pollution is the single greatest environmental risk to human health and one of the main avoidable causes of death and disease globally. Air pollution disproportionately affects women, children and older persons, and also has a negative impact on ecosystems.

Today, the international community acknowledges that improving air quality can enhance climate change mitigation and that climate change mitigation efforts can improve air quality.

Read also: ASPI business and management consulting service of ISO 14001:2015 environmental management system development and certification.

A view of Jakarta on a sunny afternoon. Photo courtesy of think archipelago.

Clean Air and Sustainable Development Goals

In the outcome document of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, entitled the future we want, Indonesia, among many countries committed to promoting sustainable development policies that support healthy air quality in the context of sustainable cities and human settlements. Also, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which outlines a road map to achieving sustainable development, environmental protection and prosperity for all, recognizes that air pollution abatement is important to the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals.

In Indonesia Energy Outlook 2018, Agency for the Assessment and Application of Technology (2018), primary energy mix in Indonesia is still dominated by fossil fuel and coal which account for 38% and 30% of total primary energy in 2016. The use of new renewable energy (NRE) continues to increase but still not realized at its full potential and lag behind other traditional sources of energy such as coal and fossil fuel.

Presently, the main supplies of NRE in Indonesia come from hydropower, then followed by biomass, geothermal, and biodiesel. These sources of power have not been developed optimally due to various constraints such as high initial investment costs, geographical location, and low efficiency.

With the current pace of NRE development, the government target of NRE mix at 23% in 2025 is difficult to achieve. A study by the Agency for the Assessment and Application of Technology in 2018 estimates NRE proportion to total primary energy will only reach 12.9% in 2025 and 14.9% in 2050.

More ambitious policies and a comprehensive NRE program that include stakeholders both from the demand and supply sides have to be implemented in order to accelerate renewable energy mix in Indonesia.

Policy direction 2020-2024

  1. Increasing the utilization of new renewable energy (NRE) to generate electricity
    • Development of an NRE-based small electric power energy system for supplying electric power in regions tha他are not covered by grid expansion
    • Budget allocation for the NRE infrastructures development for villages that will not be electrified sustainably for a long-term use
    • Establishment of an NRE’s separate business entity that mandated by the government to develop, utilize, and/or purchase NRE;
    • Increasing the role of the private sector incentive-based policy to encourage investment in NRE
    • Regulatory reform to maximize citizens’ participation in NRE development,
    • Designing an NRE development plan that feasible to implement.
  2. Reviewing the utilization of nuclear power plants
    • Conducting research on nuclear power plants development which takes account economic and safety factors
    • Designing a roadmap for nuclear power plants implementation as the last option of national energy development priorities
    • Preparing the regulatory and institutional needs of nuclear power plants implementation
    • Preparing to master nuclear power plants technology
  3. Accelerate the implementation of geothermal energy
    • Preparing geothermal fields as the new geothermal mining plant
    • Perfecting the mechanism of tender procurements in geothermal infrastructures development and accelerating the biddings for new geothermal mining plant
    • Creating fiscal and non-fiscal incentives system to reduce the risk of geothermal exploration.
  4. Increasing biofuels utilization
    • Conversion from fossil fuels to biofuels use in the transportation and manufacturing sectors, and power plants
    • Provision of special land for energy gardens,
    • Development of potential commodities/superior varieties aside from food needs
    • Improvement of biofuel off-taker mechanism (market guarantee), including standardizations, subsidies, and raw material prices, as well as biofuels’ selling prices
  5. Improving the quality and potency of new renewable energy data
    • Quality and quantity increase of water energy potential survey, bioenergy, solar, and wind
    • Implementation of current potential survey, tide an difference in ocean layer temperature, and other NREs.

Policy direction 2025-2030

  1. Increasing the utilization of new renewable energy (NRE)
    • Strengthening the development of smart grid system
    • Budget enforcement for the NRE infrastructures development
    • National industry development to support NRE power plants construction
  2. Developing nuclear power plants utilization
    • Increasing the national capacity in the field of nuclear power use safety
    • Preparing pre-feasibility academic studies as a basis to make a decision on the planning of nuclear power plant development
    • Preparation of nuclear power plants development
  3. Increasing investment in the NRE sector
    • Strengthening the role of NRE business entities
    • Promoting investment in NRE sector
    • Polishing NRE’s financing schemes
    • Refining price schemes of NRE-powered electricity
  4. Develop new technologies for the progress of new and renewable energy
    • Technology development and innovation of equipment/machinery/transportation facilities of biofuels;
    • Technology development and utilization innovations of new energy


  1. United Nations International Day of Clean Air for blue skies 7 September. 2020.
  2. Indonesia Energy Outlook 2018, Agency for the Assessment and Application of Technology. 2018.
  3. Roadmap of SDGs Indonesia: Highlight, Indonesia Secretariat for Sustainable Development Goals, Ministry of National Development Planning/National Development Planning Agency. 2018.



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