By Gavin, head of climate campaign, onboard the Rainbow Warrior
We left the quayside in Jakarta yesterday onboard the Rainbow Warrior, destined for the international UN climate negotiations in Bali beginning early December. Before leaving, we undertook a small press briefing to launch our Indonesian Energy Revolution. Our research provides a vision and roadmap for how Indonesia can provide 2.5 times more energy to the country by 2050 without contributing to dangerous climate change.
The report itself outlines how a combination of biomass (such as burning of agricultural waste), geothermal power and solar power can deliver energy that is badly needed here. This coupled with ambitious energy efficiency targets and some natural gas can keep Indonesia powered for the next decades as the population increases and people slowly lift themselves out of poverty. Along with tackling greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation, this will help Indonesia to play its part in tackling climate change.
Our energy roadmap for Indonesia is vastly different than plans put forward by the Indonesian government. They currently propose 10,000 megawatts of coal-fired power (approx. 10 power stations) to be built in the next decade, and are also actively pursuing nuclear power.
The situation is not without hope though. Indonesia Environment Minister Ir. Rachmat Witoelar welcomed our vision, and our campaign team in Jakarta will be working hard to ensure that our research is taken onboard.
Once out on the Java Sea the crew hoisted sails as we turned due east. The rainbow warrior is sporting a brand new jib designed by our in-house creative guru Elaine in Amsterdam. Five wind turbines gracefully rise up the sail as it billows out in the wind. They also drive home the message that wind power can deliver, and is part of the solution to climate change. Quite inspiring.
Under sail, we were quickly joined by an Indonesian navy frigate following us. We’ll look forward to keeping them company on the way to Bali. And maybe they can join us when we stop tomorrow in the town of Jepara in central Java, where we’ll work with community members and leaders in opposition to a proposed nuclear power plant.
The site of the plant is on a fault line, at the base of the dormant Mount Muria volcano, and also in a tsunami zone. One could not think of a more irresponsible place to propose a nuclear power plant. The Islamic Religious Council of Central Java agree, and have declared the idea ‘Haraam’, meaning forbidden, which is very good news. We’ll join together with religious and community leaders to further build opposition to such a foolish idea. Our message will be clear: it’s time to kick-start an Energy Revolution.