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Experts Call for Comprehensive Climate Justice Law in Indonesia Amid Growing Environmental Challenges

Indonesia does not have a comprehensive legal framework for Climate Justice. Currently, the highest umbrella regulations only exist in the Presidential Regulation (Presidential Regulation Number 98/2021), and most regulations and policies are related to natural disasters and regulation of environment and infrastructure projects. 

“This is certainly not enough,” remarked the University of Indonesia’s Vice Dean 1 of the Faculty of Law, Andri Wibisono, at a live broadcast of the talk show “The Urgency of Laws on Climate Change to Achieve Climate Justice in Indonesia.” Wibisono assessed that a more robust legislation process is necessary to voice the victims who have been affected and urged the need to form a national climate policy architecture. 

Laws as legal products become significant for Indonesia’s efforts to handle climate change as they provide a comprehensive framework and long-term instruments and policies. Given the complex nature of climate change, the legislation serves as a polycentric tool that effectively addresses the issue’s complex, multi-actor, and multifaceted aspects. By incorporating compliance and law enforcement mechanisms, legislation proves to be a suitable instrument for ensuring adherence to climate change regulations in Indonesia. 

The talk show highlighted the importance of a Climate Justice Law that can serve as a legal framework incorporating fundamental provisions and acting as an overarching umbrella for the implementation of all climate change policies. The legal framework would ensure that all sectoral laws are aligned with the objectives of addressing climate change. Additionally, it would encompass comprehensive measures to prevent and mitigate climate change’s impact, particularly on the community and the environment.  

The discussion around a legal framework for Indonesia also featured key recommendations of The Indonesian Center for Environmental Law (ICEL)’s policy brief. Essential policy findings for climate change regulation legislation aimed at facilitating better policy coordination within the government. ICEL undertook an assessment of global climate change initiatives and engaged in consultation with numerous specialists before suggesting key components that should be regulated in the draft Law on Climate Change:  

      1. Principles and Objectives 
      2. Type and Classification of Glass House Gases 
      3. Institutions and Coordination among stakeholders 
      4. Carbon Budgetary Scheme 
      5. Target and Baseline of Climate Change Control 
      6. Integrative Policy and Regulation  
      7. Climate Change Control Governance 
      8. Law Enforcement

ICEL Executive Director Raynaldo Sembiring emphasized, “Addressing climate change issues cannot only focus on preventing temperature rises below 1.5 degrees Celsius but must also address human rights issues that arise, mainly due to the impact of climate change.” 

Ardhasena Sopaheluwakan from BMKG revealed that 2023 was the hottest year in the world. Indonesia is currently experiencing the hottest 11 months in its history. “This signals climate change has occurred dramatically and spectacularly,” he stated. 

Benny Harman from Commission III of the Parliament explained that the Draft Law on Climate Change is part of national legislation priority until 2029, which will be proposed by the Parliament. 

 “The commitment to forming this law has been a long time coming, although it is still not yet realized until now. Climate change has become a severe threat to human life, so there must be regulations on activities that impact climate change, especially for vulnerable groups.”  

Ati Maulin, a representative of the Healthy Mental Association, highlighted the limited participation of disability groups in the formulation of climate-related policies. She emphasized that even in areas unrelated to climate policy, disability groups encounter various barriers that have yet to be adequately addressed. Maulin stressed the importance of involving disability groups from the outset. 

In addition, Syaharani, a researcher at ICEL, emphasized that young people are particularly impacted by climate change as it is a problem that spans across generations. It is crucial to support the involvement of youth movements in addressing climate change through legislative means. 

Chairman Rapin Mudiardjo of the University’s Faculty of Law’s Alumnae Associations (ILUNI FHUI) explained that this talk show was a way to deliver a message of concerns and gain feedback from the public and invited all relevant stakeholders to provide feedback and urged the enactment of the Law on Climate Change. 

As part of a speaker series celebrating the 100-year anniversary of the University’s Faculty of Law, the speakers included Benny K. Harman,  Commission III of the People’s Representative Council, Andri Gunawan Wibisana., Vice Dean 1 and Environmental Law Professor at the Law Faculty, University of Indonesia (Vice Dean 1 FHUI), Ardhasena Sopaheluwakan, Deputy Head for Climatology of the Indonesian Agency for Meteorology, Climatology, and Geophysics (BMKG). Ati Maulin from Healthy Souls Association (PJS) and Syaharani, S.H., researcher at ICEL. 

The panel was organized in partnership with the ICEL and the ILUNI FHUI. 

Related locations: Indonesia
Related programs: Environment and Climate Action

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