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Indonesia asks for China's help to have cleaner air

Jakarta Globe - June 14, 2024

Jayanty Nada Shofa, Jakarta – Heavily polluted Indonesia is asking China to provide technical assistance and solar power industry investments, among other things, so people in the Southeast Asian country can breathe cleaner air.

Indonesia is seeking to reach net zero emissions by 2060 or sooner, but the country still relies on coal to generate power. The Indonesian metropolis of Jakarta also often tops the global rankings of cities with the worst air pollution.

Chief Investment Minister Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan recently had bilateral talks with Chinese Foreign Affairs Minister Wang Yi during a visit to China. Luhut said he talked about potentially partnering with China to help Indonesia cut pollution from coal power generation.

"We are asking for some technical assistance to help us reduce the pollution produced by coal-fired power plants to improve the air quality," Luhut said in a statement on Friday.

According to Luhut, sunny Indonesia boasts 3,000 gigawatts of solar power with close neighbor Singapore looking to import the sun-generated energy. Luhut added: "That is why I encourage China's solar power producers and companies within the supply chain to set up manufacturing plants in Indonesia."

The senior minister also wants to see the Chinese firms who have invested in Indonesia's green energy sector also to bring in their suppliers. He hopes that Chinese battery-related firms will come to Indonesia to make use of the country's nickel.

Jakarta, which is surrounded by coal power plants, had the world's second-worst air quality on Friday morning. The city's air quality index stood at 165, with a PM.25 particle concentration at 75 micrograms per cubic meter. This is 15 times higher than the World Health Organization (WHO) recommendation.

China is among Indonesia's biggest sources of foreign direct investment (FDI). Government data shows Indonesia recorded $1.87 billion in Chinese FDI throughout the first quarter of 2024, making it the country's third-largest foreign investor.

Earlier this year, Luhut said that an unnamed Chinese investor was looking to invest in a photovoltaic glass project in North Kalimantan. Luhut claimed the investment was worth up to $4 billion.

Source: https://jakartaglobe.id/news/indonesia-asks-for-chinas-help-to-have-cleaner-ai