Coal exports dragging down Indonesia's economy

GREENPEACE has released a report suggesting that Indonesia’s coal exports are destabilising the country’s economy

Sadie Davidson

The environmental organisation argues that the industry restricts market growth and capital investment, diminishes livelihoods and exacerbates poverty.

It says coal is having disastrous effects on an otherwise diversified and thriving economy.

The report argued that the coal industry had done little to improve the lives of the Indonesia’s people, especially those living in rural areas where most still did not have access to electricity.

Greenpeace’s statement said 30% of households in Samarinda were still without power, despite the area being home to one of Borneo’s largest coal mines.

The Huffington Post reported that the coal export industry had devastated local communities reliant on agriculture, fisheries, wetlands, streams and forested lands and Indonesia had not seen a dramatic increase in energy access due to its intensive coal production.

Greenpeace released the report in response to the Indonesian minister of energy's decision to build or expand 35 coal-fired plants in the next two years, including doubling the size of the Cilacap plant.

Indonesia is the second nation to receive Greenpeace’s attention as part of its Quit Coal campaign.

After a six-month Greenpeace campaign, Greece’s development minister stated that the Greek government was not considering hard coal or nuclear power as part of the country’s energy future.