M Yusuf Manurung, Jakarta – Greenpeace Indonesia chief Leonard Simanjuntak said the recent severe flooding in Jakarta Greater Area was caused by the climate crisis. According to him, that was verified from the change in the rainfall movement for the past ten years.
Leonard explained the frequency of rainfall above hundreds of millimeters per day is increasing yet in shorter intervals. The highest intensity of rainfall in the capital was recorded in Halim, East Jakarta in early 2020, reaching 377 mm per day.
"The average rainfall intensity in Jakarta is actually only 20 mm per day," Leonard said at Jakarta Legal Aid or LBH office on Monday, January 6.
Due to the increasing frequency of extreme downpours, the 10-year or 5-year cycles of flooding were no longer relevant. Hence, Jakarta and the world have the potential to face such natural disasters more often. "We must see this as a lead to a new normal," he remarked.
According to him, the rising extreme rainfall in short intervals is one of the strong indicators of climate emergency, which caused by global warming.
Leonard reiterated that the world has only ten years to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celcius. At present, the global average temperature reached 1.1 degrees Celcius.
"Per January 2020, we are entering an important decade to create changes," he underlined.
If there is no serious commitment until 2030, Leonard added, global warming will reach 3 to 4 degrees Celsius that might cause more frequent heavy rains and faster ice melting at the South and North Poles that will approach the mainland, including Jakarta Bay.
Leonard went on to say that two activities often done in the archipelago caused the climate crisis, namely large-scale coal consumption and deforestation. "The government is still ignorant about this," he said.