As restrictions due to the Covid-19 pandemic enter a more manageable phase, the fundamental threat to the future of the planet remains – climate change. With this in mind, AmCham Indonesia and the US Chamber of Commerce held their first Renewable Energy Mission on May 17-18, attended by government ministers, US companies, US Chamber representatives and other stakeholders. The goal was to understand Indonesia’s policy framework for the transition from fossil fuels to net zero carbon emissions by 2060.
The mission, under the theme Policy for a Sustainable Future: Indonesia's Path to Renewable Energy, was also AmCham's first fully hybrid event since the outbreak of the pandemic. “This marks a new beginning for greater engagement with the government on both face to face and virtual platforms,” said AmCham Managing Director A Lin Neumann.
The sessions were available both through Zoom and offline, with speakers also having the option of appearing in person or online.
Held as part of the Initiative Indonesia program, the highlight of the mission was a session with Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources Arifin Tasrif and his team of directors general at the ministry's headquarters.
Minister Arifin reiterated the commitment of President Joko Widodo's government to reach net zero carbon emissions and to move the country away from its dependence on coal. He extensively outlined the measures being taken by the Ministry and stressed the importance of foreign investment to reduce emissions.
"We need cooperation from every country, especially on technology and financing," he said. "We need to maximize our resources – there is big potential, and we need to exploit it."
In other sessions, policy makers and companies participated in several panel discussions including a US Government Assessment panel moderated by US Chamber Executive Director for Southeast Asia John Goyer. The panel included representatives from the US Trade and Development Agency, the US Development Finance Corporation and the US Agency for International Development.
Other panels were held on realizing Indonesia's emission reduction plans, solving regulatory issues, investment in green infrastructure and other priorities.
Discussing private sector initiatives was a panel featuring Andrew Hidayat, the founder of MMS Group Indonesia, who detailed his company’s plans for the energy transition. Ken Sauer, a co-founder of Risco Energy, moderated the panel, which also featured veteran renewables expert Bret Mattes of PT Numada. Both MMS and Risco are AmCham Platinum members.
Discussions were also held with the Fiscal Policy Agency (BKF) on carbon pricing and the carbon tax, and Yanuar Fajari – Deputy Director for Energy Investment Planning at the Ministry of Investment/Indonesian Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM).
“This is an early first step for us in working with the renewables sector in Indonesia,” said the Chamber’s John Goyer, who was visiting Indonesia from Washington for the first time since the pandemic began, “but there will be much more in the future.”