AEER & Jatam Central Sulawesi Sending Letter to CEO Tesla, Urging Its Nickel Battery Free From Coal Energy & DSTD

Pers Release

Central Sulawesi Jatam & Action for Ecology and People’s Emancipation (AEER) Association

Jakarta, 11 Mei 2022

At the moment, the world is developing electric transportations as an attempt to face climate change. Nickel has been targeted as a favorite commodity because the demand for electric transportations has begun to rise. More and more cars companies are competing to develop different battery technology.

Tesla dan Indonesia Government are planning to work together to invest in nickel batteries. Environment organizations in Indonesia, Jatam Central Sulawesi and Action for Ecology and People’s Emancipation (AEER) demanding Tesla and Government of Indonesia make nickel battery free from coal energy and deep sea tailing disposal (DSTD).

Sea water pollution in Morowali coastal area due to nickel mining activity

Central Sulawesi Jatam and AEER proceeded to send a letter  to the CEO of Tesla, Elon Musk on Mei 11 2022. In the letter, they urging CEO Tesla, Elon Musk, keeps tied to his commitment that was told in the annual meeting of Tesla stakeholders in September 2020. He said that he is offering a long term contract for companies that can mine nickels with one condition: Not polluting the environment.

Pius Ginting, AEER Coordinator, states two points in the letter:  If Tesla wants to invest in Indonesia, they should make it free from coal fired power plants. Because doing so conflicts with the aim of electric tranportation: reducing total gas emission.

According to a study done by AEER, coal fired power plant activities for nickel processing in Indonesia has increased air pollution and health problems for local citizens in Bahodopi,  Morowali[1]. Coal ashes are blown into citizens homes, causing many people to suffer with Acute Respiratory Infection (ARI) disease.

Moh Taufik, Central Sulawesi Jatam Coordinator, adds, Indonesian nickel use production shouldn’t use Deep-Sea Tailings Displacement(DSTD) method to waste dumps. Tailing with enormous volume pose high risk to the coastal ecology such as hyper sedimentation, inhibition vertical migration of marine biotas.

According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), water contamination caused by mining is one of the three biggest risks in the world. 

Media contact:

aeermail@gmail.com


[1] https://www.rosalux.de/fileadmin/rls_uploads/pdfs/engl/Nickel_Study_FINAL.pdf

245,000 Ton/Year Carbon Sequestration Mangroves Threatened to Loss by Coal Mines in Kalimantan, AEER Study

The carbon sequestration of mangroves, which are in danger of being lost, is greater than the carbon reduction of the Jeneponto wind power plant project

Press release

Association for Ecological Action and People’s Emancipation

Jakarta (28 April 2022) Kalimantan Island is the largest coal source in Indonesia, with almost 86% of national coal production1. The high mining activity in Kalimantan causes a decrease in environmental services and disturbances to wildlife. Kalimantan is an island rich in biodiversity.

According to a study conducted by the Association for Ecological Action and People’s Emancipation (AEER)2, there are 35 coal mines with an area of more than 10,000 hectares each located within a 25 kilometers radius of the conservation area. In addition, there are at least 5 species classified as critically endangered in and around the mining area (25 kilometers radius). The species are Eretmochelys imbricata (hawksbill turtle), Hopea rudiformis, Pongo pygmaeus (Kalimantan orangutan), Aquilaria malaccensis (eaglewood), and Sphyrna lewini (hammerhead shark).

A coal mining site in Kalimantan, April 2022 (photo: Jatam East Kalimantan )

According to GBIF biodiversity data, critically endangered species were found in the 7 mining companies studied, namely PT Insani Baraperkasa, PT Multi Harapan Utama, PT Batubara Selaras Sapta, PT Berau Indobara Semesta, PT Singlurus Pratama Coal, PT Kaltim Prima Coal, and PT Persada Berau Jaya Sakti. A total of 33 species of endangered rarity level and 69 species of vulnerable rarity level living in and around mining areas. Some of these species are Nasalis larvatus (proboscis monkey) and Helarctos malayanus (sun bear). The mining activities of PT Kaltim Prima Coal and PT Indominco Mandiri contributed to the decline in the carrying capacity of orangutan habitat by up to 60%3.

According to the 2019 land cover data from the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, the mining activities of the 19 mining companies studied have the potential to pose a threat to the sustainability of the mangrove ecosystem. The mining companies are PT Amanah Putra Borneo, PT Arutmin Indonesia, PT Batubara Selaras Sapta, PT Berau Coal, PT Berau Indobara Semesta, PT Borneo Indobara, PT Delma Mining Corporation, PT Indominco Mandiri, PT Insani Baraperkasa, PT Kaltim Prima Coal, PT Kideco Jaya Agung, PT Lanna Harita Indonesia, PT Multi Harapan Utama, PT Perkasa Inakakerta, PT Persada Berau Jaya Sakti, PT Santan Batubara, PT Singlurus Pratama, PT Sumber Daya Energi, and PT Tambang Damai. The carbon absorption capacity of mangrove ecosystems around mining can reach 245,028.37 tons of carbon per year, exceeding the capacity of the Tolo wind power plant in Jeneponto, South Sulawesi which only reduces 160,600 tons of carbon. If coal mining activities around the mangrove ecosystem continue, the ability to absorb carbon will decrease as a result of the degradation of the mangrove ecosystem.

Mining activities have changed landscapes on a large scale and released pollutants that damage the ecosystems that host thousands of species of flora and fauna. Land clearing for mining activities damages microclimate factors such as temperature and rainfall4. Land clearing that is carried out eliminates various environmental services and harms the quality of life.

Iqbal Patiroi, AEER Association’s Biodiversity and Climate Program Coordinator stated that mining activities on the island of Kalimantan need to be reduced and stopped, accompanied by a transition process that is fair to all parties and the environment. In addition, restoration and rehabilitation efforts in each mining area must be carried out and monitored closely and seriously to form a sustainable ecosystem. Thus, wild animals can live safely in the wild and carry out their ecological role so that the living environment remains in a balanced condition.

Media contact:

Muhammad Iqbal Patiroi, Biodiversity and Climate Program Coordinator iqbalpatiroi@aeer.info

References:

  1. Performance Report of the Directorate General of Mineral and Coal in 2020
  2. To get copy of the report, contact AEER, aeermail[at]gmail.com
  3. https://www.forina.org/_files/ugd/d1b392_25fc22daefbc4cff9f3b026b893e66e1.pdf?index=true
  4. El-Hamid, H. T., Caiyong, W., & Yongting, Z. (2019). Geospatial Analysis of Land Use Driving Force in Coal Mining Area: Case Study in Ningdong, China. Geojournal, 1-16.

Industry Needs to Switch From Coal To Renewable Energy to For Acceptance Its Products

Press Release

Jakarta, March 21, 2022

Not only in the power generation sector, but the transition into renewable energy also takes place in the manufacturing sector. The climate change that is taking place due to increasing concentrations of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gasses has occurred globally. The industrial sectors that use the most energy are the food and beverage, fertilizer and chemicals, and cement industries. This means that these industries generate a huge amount of carbon emissions. Some of the companies in this sector also have switched to using renewable energy.

Nickel industry in North Molucca (Photo: Rabul Sawal)

In Indonesia, coal is the most used fossil energy source, compared to other sources of energy, with 38% contributions to national energy in 2021.

Siti Shara, Researcher for Climate Finance and Energy of AEER Association, said that the shifts to renewable energy by industry should be done significantly, not just as greenwashing. The companies that have not made the transition towards renewable energy are risking their product’s public image.

The AEER Association notes that this transition has occurred in various sectors. In the food and beverage sector, Danone-Aqua (Danone Indonesia), the largest beverage company in Indonesia, has built 4 roofs Solar Power Plant throughout 2018-2021 and is targeting the installation of solar panels in 21 Danone-Aqua factories in Indonesia with a total capacity of 15 MW in 2023. In the fertilizer and chemicals sector, PT Chanda Asri Petrochemical Tbk has built solar panel installations in 2019 and continued with the addition of solar panels in 2021. There is also PT Pupuk Kaltim that also install a solar power plant with a rooftop on-grid system in 2022. In the cement industries, there are PT Semen Padang and PT Semen Tonasa which are not dependent on coal energy. They generate electricity from solar power plants in their power plants.

Several other industries also took action and negotiated acceleration in energy transformation from fossil-based fuel towards renewable energy. However, this number is still far below the number of the industries that have not taken steps towards clean energy. If the five largest food companies in Indonesia – namely PT Indofood CBP Sukses MakmurTbk, PT Sido Muncul Tbk, PT Akasha Wira International Tbk, and PT Tiga Pilar Sejahtera Food Tbk – built solar power plants with the same capacity as Danone Indonesia, this would reduce carbon emissions by more than 83000 tons of CO2/year.

In the fertilizer sector, there is PT Pupuk Indonesia, the largest fertilizer and chemical producer in Indonesia has 9 subsidiaries that have not yet switched to environmentally-friendly energy. They still use fossil-based energy for their electricity. In addition, PT Lotte Chemical Titan Nusantara, PT Trans Pacific Petrochemical Indotama (TPPI), PT Kaltim Pasifik Amoniak, and PT Lautan Luas Tbk as a leading industry have not changed their energy sources to green energy.

Although 2 subsidiaries of PT Semen Indonesia have made an energy transition, there are still other subsidiaries that have not transitioned from coal energy. PT Semen Indonesia controls 53,1% of the national cement market. PT Indocement Tunggal Prakarsa Tbk (INTP) and PT Semen Jawa is the same.

Siti Shara added, using coal energy has bad environmental impacts and causes economical losses. The best option is to replace coal-based energy with clean energy. The industrial sector can achieve energy efficiency to reduce the environmental impact. We urge the companies in the industrial sector that is not using renewable energy yet to take actual steps to remove coal from their sources of energy. The industrial sector has had to abandon dirty energy sources that damaging the environment badly. Economically, building a new renewable energy power plant is cheaper than operating a new coal-fired power plant. The industrial sector can also reduce the cost of environmental countermeasures due to coal emissions. This is part of efforts to build a sustainable economy, improve the quality of life, and save the earth from the climate crisis.

Environments Organizations Urge to Stop Coal Mining Expansion to be Part of The Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework

A Press Release Issued by AEER, Jatam East Kalimantan, Kanopi Hijau Bengkulu

The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) is preparing The Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework. The framework’s target is expected to be achieved in 2050 with milestones in 2030. This framework continues The Aichi Biodiversity Targets that have been designed in the previous decade which are failed to achieve the global targets in saving biodiversity.

Three environmental organizations argue that Indonesia can contribute to the current global biodiversity initiative by stopping the expansion of mining production areas and revoking exploration mining permits.

Massive coal mining activities in Kalimantan damage the biodiversity on the island. Mining activities such as land clearing, excavation of topsoil, and removal of overburden harm landscape-scale and disrupt the ecological processes around the area. The destruction of ecological processes will reduce the wildlife habitat and reduce the biodiversity of the local area.

Based on the study by the Association for Ecological Action and People’s Emancipation (AEER) using data on the biodiversity of the Island of Kalimantan and data on mining activities on Kalimantan, it was found that mining activities on the island pose a significant threat to biodiversity. Various protected species – either according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) or according to the Ministry of Environment and Forestry (KLHK) – are threatened by mining activities carried around wildlife habitats. In addition, various ecosystems that have an important role as habitats for wildlife – such as dryland forests and mangrove forests – are threatened with degradation due to mining activities around these ecosystems. This happens because the location of mining activities is close to the important ecosystems that support wildlife and human activities in the vicinity. Several important species affected by the mining activities in Kalimantan include Pongo pygmaeus (Borneo orangutan), Sphyrna lewini (hammerhead shark), Helarctos malayanus (sun bear), and Nasalis larvatus (proboscis monkey).

Pradarma Rupang, Dynamist of East Kalimantan Jatam , stated that mining activities destroy biodiversity through degradation and reduction of wildlife habitat. The energy transition from coal to clean and environmentally friendly energy will stop coal mining activities, land conversion, and global climate change. Biodiversity, as well as the benefits provided by it, are very beneficial for the sustainability of human life. However, habitat degradation and extinction that threaten global biodiversity will continue if coal production is not reduced

Muhammad Iqbal Patiroi, Coordinator of the Climate and Biodiversity Program of the AEER Association, stated that global biodiversity loss increased by a thousand times compared to the available fossil record and could increase up to ten times in the future, according to Millennium Ecosystem Assessment. The assessment from IPBES (Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services) in 2021, at least 75% of the world’s land area has altered significantly and 35% of the world’s species are threatened with extinction, which is also reflected in the state of the biodiversity of the Kalimantan.

Ali Akbar, Director Executive Board of Indonesia Green Canopy, stated that the global community should take steps to stop the threat of extinction that has occurred globally. The Aichi Biodiversity Targets that agreed in 2011 and are valid until 2020 have failed to encourage the global community to slow down the rate of decline in global biodiversity. The new framework is needed to continue the conservation spirit that has been promoted through the Aichi Biodiversity Targets while taking into account the results and shortcomings of the previous framework. With improvements to the design of the new framework for saving biodiversity, it is hoped that the global community and policymakers will be able to fulfill the commitments that will be mutually agreed upon. Stopping the expansion of coal mining production areas is an important strategy.

Assessing The Threat of Coal-Fired Power Plants to Biodiversity in Sumatera

Indonesia is a megabiodiversity area and the island of Sumatra is the second
richest island in terms of biodiversity in Indonesia after Papua. The stability
of the ecosystem is important to support human life physically, biologically,
economically, and culturally.

The negative impact on local biodiversity has intensified with
the development of mine-mouth coal-fired power plants, which are already
operating in South Sumatra Province, and are also planned to be built in Jambi
and Riau provinces.

According to the sixth assessment report from the Intergovernmental
Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), nature absorbs the majority of greenhouse
gas emissions (56%), therefore climate mitigation and biodiversity loss
prevention efforts need to be done in parallel. Discontinuation of coal-fired
power plants in megabiodiversity areas would make the Paris Agreement
goals and commitments in the Convention on Biological Diversity achievable
at low cost, provided that it does not exclude local residents and indigenous
peoples.

The results of this research can be used as a consideration for canceling the
new coal-fired power plants in Sumatra and developing renewable energy.
Furthermore, it can be a factor for the consideration of coal-fired power plants
that are included in the early termination scheme related to climate change.


Jatam Sulteng & AEER Urge China as Organizer of UN Biodiversity Conference to Announce Its Foreign Investment Not To Dump Tailing Waste Into Sea Zone

Press Release of JATAM Central Sulawesi and AEER

Jakarta & Palu, Wednesday 13 October 2021

The Central Sulawesi Mining Advocacy Network (JATAM) and the People’s Action & Ecology and Emancipation Society (AEER) will submit a petition rejecting the disposal of tailings waste into the sea from the nickel battery industry and urge the government to replace steam power plants (PLTU) with renewable energy in the nickel battery industry to the Central Sulawesi Provincial Government.

UN Biodiversity Summit in Kunming, China

Research conducted by Ecological Action and People’s Emancipation (AEER) shows the potential environmental impact of deep-sea tailing placement (DSTP) plans selected as a method to reduce the operating costs of the nickel industry. In addition, the nickel industry in both Morowali (Central Sulawesi) and Vedas (North Maluku) still utilizes coal power plants (PLTU) as the main energy source for which carbon is in fact a source of pollutants.

Managing Coordinator Jatam Sulteng, Moh. Taufik, stated, encouraging nickel downstreaming does not mean without new homework. The track record of the nickel industry environment on land should not be extended to the sea. China itself does not apply the disposal of mining waste to the sea in its country.

“We expect a biodiversity commitment from the Chinese government as host of the UN Biodiversity Conference, which takes place in Kunming, a city in the southwestern part of china this month. We hope that this Biodiversity Conference in China, also accompanied by the Chinese Government’s commitment, not to dump mining waste into the sea from its investments abroad such as in Central Sulawesi, “he said, adding that he rejected plans to dispose of tailings waste in the Morowali sea region.

In addition, Taufik hopes that the Central Sulawesi Provincial Government, through this petition, can also show leadership in climate mitigation by placing the ocean as a blue carbon zone, by not recommending the disposal of mine waste into the sea in Central Sulawesi that can endanger biodiversity, such as the plan to dump tailings waste into the morowali sea because it endangers the biodiversity that lives in morowali sea waters.

Pius Ginting, Coordinator of AEER stated “Chinese President Xi Jinping’s climate commitment that the People’s Republic of China no longer builds new power plants abroad needed to be confirmed by disclosing information to the public that it no longer support additional new power plants in nickel industrial estates related to Chinese investment in Central Sulawesi. And strive in the near future to replace power plants that have been operating with renewable energy.  This will be good for the climate and good for the health of Bahodopi residents who have become victims of air pollution.

Pius added, the Central Sulawesi Provincial Government should encourage the nickel industry not to become a center for greenhouse gas emissions because it will be bad for the image of nickel batteries from Central Sulawesi.

Media Contact:

Moh Taufik, Coordinator of JATAM Sulteng, upiik. Sondang94@gmail.com

Pius Ginting, AEER Kordiantor, pginting@aeer.info

Indonesia promised to protect the ocean from mine waste, but risky regulation threatens to undermine its commitment

Indonesia is the world’s largest nickel producer and is poised to dramatically scale up production to meet skyrocketing demand. Nickel demand is expected to increase six-fold by 2030, driven in large part by demand for electric vehicle batteries.

The two major projects anchoring the country’s battery-grade nickel build out, the Morowali Industrial Park and the Obi Island project, had submitted permit requests to dispose of 31 million tonnes of mine waste into the highly biodiverse Coral Triangle using the controversial and outdated practice of submarine tailings disposal. Ocean dumping is a cheap and convenient way to dispose of mine waste, but due to its environmental and health impacts has been phased out or prohibited in most parts of the world.

Facing pushback from local communities and concerns from EV companies that the impacts of dirty mining will undermine the shift to clean energy, developers withdrew the permit requests to dump mine tailings into the ocean in October 2020. And on February 5, 2021, following the submission of an investment proposal by Tesla, a spokesperson for the Indonesian government announced that it would no longer permit new mining projects to dump mine waste into the ocean.

However, just three days later the Indonesian government undermined its own commitment, passing a regulation that allows submarine tailings disposal. Government Regulation N0 22 Year 2021 on Implementation on Protection and Management of Environment continues to allow submarine tailing disposal, with minimum depth 100 meter in area if thermocline is not exist.

This regulation leaves the door open to ocean dumping and stands in contradiction to the government’s public commitment, and despite the growing momentum against the practice. The government’s contradiction should be cause for concern for EV manufacturers, financial backers and mine waste-impacted coastal communities.

The current unclear and uncertain regulatory environment puts the onus on downstream users and financial backers to ensure ocean dumping doesn’t go forward, highlighting the reputational risk associated with the practice. Automakers Ford, BMW and Daimler-Benz have joined the Initiative for Responsible Mining Assurance, signaling their commitment to responsible mineral sourcing and a rejection of dangerous practices, including ocean dumping.

Citigroup, Standard Chartered and Credit Suisse have already prohibited or severely restricted financing for companies that use ocean dumping, and Storebrand, a major Norwegian asset manager, divested from the Ramu nickel and cobalt mine in Papua New Guinea over environmental harm from ocean tailings dumping.

The Indonesian government must put into place regulation that fully restricts all submarine tailings disposal. Governments and companies involved in the global nickel supply chain should not support submarine tailings disposal. Doing so would make EV batteries part of the global ecology problem and contribute to new sources of coastal and marine pollution.

Economic recovery following the COVID-19 pandemic must prioritize environmental sustainability. Unfortunately, the Indonesian regulation to  provide employment and increase  investment weakens environmental governance reducing future economic development, particularly for coastal communities. 

Public can involve to support the campaign on protect sea from nickel battery tailing waste by support the petition, pushing nickel battery industries apply the best standard on environment.

Link to the petition

https://www.change.org/p/kementerian-lingkungan-hidup-dan-kehutanan-industri-nikel-baterai-untuk-mobil-listrik-harus-mengikuti-standar-lingkungan-dan-sosial

Or

[Publication] South Sumatera Low Carbon Development To Be Hampered by Low Quality Coal Investment

South Sumatera Province, Indonesia, has 21.926 megawatt (MW) renewable potential. It uses only 67 MW, around 0,3 percent.

The province has its vision energy management, “To Create reliable and optimising local source energy with environment and sustainability perspective.” One of its Regional General Planning on Energy’s policy direction is using new and renewable energy by reducing fossil fuel export particularly gas and coal.

This vision prone can not be reach if low quality coal infrastructure support continue to be developed, in kind of increasing coal railway carrying capacity and mine mouth coal power plants with Foreign Direct Investment support.

South Sumatera province has potential to create low carbon development and avoiding community from ecological destruction caused by low quality coal invesment.

Read AEER’s publication on suggestion for government institutions, financiers, and community how to achieve low carbon development in South Sumatera.

The Impact of Climate Change is Getting Stronger, Indonesia Investment Authority (INA) Need To Exclude Fossil Energy In Investments

Press Release

Perkumpulan AEER & Trend Asia

January, 28th 2021

The government is currently forming an Investment Management Institution or the Indonesia Investment Authority (INA), with an initial capital of IDR 75 trillion rupiahs which is expected to attract investment funds from abroad. Environmental organizations expect the INA to have a policy on the fossil industry. Fossil energy is the cause of climate change which is becoming increasingly impactful.

Researchers reveal that there will be an increase in rainfall in the tropics due to the impact of climate change.

The El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO) phenomenon is predicted to be affected by climate change. The frequency and power of extreme El Nino and La Nina have the potential to increase. today, the extreme phase of ENSO occurs once every 20 years. But at the end of the 21st century, in an aggressive greenhouse gas emission scenario, this extreme phase could occur once every 10 years. Indonesia as a country located on the equator of the western Pacific Ocean will experience extreme rainfall during the extreme La Nina situation.

Flooding in South Kalimantan, January 2021 photo source: Antara

Pius Ginting, Coordinator of Perkumpulan AEER said that hydrometeorological disasters from floods to rising sea levels are increasing along with global warming caused by the use of fossil energy. Huge costs or fatalities have occurred. Providing jobs field by developing the coal and plantation industry is ineffective and the impact loss is bigger.

Such as the flood in South Kalimantan, despite a lot of mining and plantation investment, there are 80,000 unemployed, 800,000 underemployed, and 590,000 part-time workers. Therefore, an investment policy from the INA is needed so that it does not support the business of developing fossil energy, particularly coal.

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On the other hand, Ahmad Ashov Birry, Program Director of Trend Asia, said it is necessary to remember that INA stands on a controversial law product that has received massive and widespread resistance from the public, and concerns from global investors based on the great potential for conflict of interest in the fossil industry, starting from the formulation process until the final product.

Rejection from the community is also based on the negative socio-environmental and economic impacts of the fossil industry, especially coal, which have not been resolved and the responsibility is unclear.

We expect INA to make policies that do not support infrastructure, which encourages fossil energy, such as coal railroads and ports.

A study from the #BersihkanIndonesia Coalition, correlated to the national strategic project which will be financed by INA, found that the majority of national strategic projects and programs have the potential to be related to fossil energy, high density of pollution, emissions, and damage to the land. also, have the potential to marginalize communities and violate human rights.

By incorporating supporting infrastructure for fossil energy into businesses managed by INA, it will narrow the amount of investment from institutions that already have green criteria that do not support investment in fossil energy, particularly coal.

INA investment should be made in sectors that are pro-environment, including renewable energy development because Indonesia’s energy system is still dominated by fossil fuels. On the other hand, the INA management must also avoid conflicts of interest in the fossil industry, particularly coal.

Media Contact:

  1. Pius Ginting-Coordinator of Perkumpulan AEER (Aksi Ekologi dan Emansipasi Rakyat)

pginting@aeer.info

  1. Ahmad Ashov Birry-Program Director of Trend Asia

Hp: 08111757246