The Pollution Threat Hanging Over Jakarta

Press release - October 24, 2017
Jakarta, October 24, 2017. The pollution already suffered by Greater Jakarta will become much worse because of plans to ring the city with coal-fired power plants, says a new report from Greenpeace. Greater Jakarta could see more new coal-fired power stations built within 100 kilometres than any other capital city.

Greenpeace Indonesia’s report, “Jakarta’s Silent Killer”, tracks the likely health impacts of all  these power plants.  It estimates that they would cause a projected 10,600 premature deaths and 2,800 low birth weight births per year; nearly half of them within Greater Jakarta.

Jakarta already has notoriously bad air quality, caused mainly by transport, industry and residential emissions.   This air pollution is being made even worse by coal-fired power plants around the city.  Greater Jakarta already sits in the shadow of eight CFPPs (22 units); four more (seven units) will become operational between 2019 and 2024, and one existing plant will be expanded in 2019. 

“The people of Jakarta need to recognise that it is not just traffic which is damaging their health, and the health of their children,” said Climate and Energy Campaigner of Greenpeace Indonesia, Didit Wicaksono.

“There are coal-fired power plants (CFPPs) in Java, and two thermal power plants (TPPs) inside this city.  The pollution from these plants is killing people now.  If the new units are built, many more will suffer.  Thousands of Jakartans will be paying the price of the government’s irresponsible and dangerous commitment to burning coal.”

Greenpeace has used a sophisticated atmospheric modeling system developed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to project the impact on air quality and human health of the power plants surrounding Greater Jakarta. The emissions from the power plants were calculated at full operation based on the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), using the assumption of 80% capacity utilization.

The results indicated that the emissions from the existing and new CFPPs are likely to have the biggest impact on pollution levels in cities and towns to the north and west of the power plant.  The highest estimated daily SO2, PM2.5 and NO2 levels are in Cilegon, Tangerang, Bogor, and Jakarta for the existing plants.  The planned CFPPs will increase pollutants levels not only in those areas, but also in Bekasi, Depok, Tambun, and Karawang. All these areas would be subject to a major new source of air pollution. 

The current permitted SO2 and NOx levels (750 mg/Nm3) are seven times higher than other major countries, while the total particulate or PM standard (100 mg/Nm3) is three times higher than others. There are no restrictions on mercury pollution.

“The Government must tighten emission standards for coal power plants in Indonesia and improve the monitoring of these plants.  It must put health at the heart of Indonesia’s energy plan and stop these plans, which will be so hazardous to human health,” Didit said.

Editor’s note: 

Jakarta’s Silent Killer Report

Media Contacts:

  • Didit Wicaksono, Climate and Energy Campaigner for Greenpeace Indonesia, +62 813-1981-5456,
  • Rahma Shofiana, Media Campaigner for Greenpeace Indonesia, +62 8111-461-674,  
  • Adila Isfandiari, Climate and Energy Campaigner for Greenpeace Indonesia, +62 811-155-760,