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Indonesia

Environmental activists have renewed calls for the government to expedite what they call the “energy revolution”, by increasing the use of renewable energy and phasing out fossil fuels.

The calls were made by Greenpeace, the Indonesian Environmental Forum (Walhi) and the Mining Advocacy Network (Jatam) on Wednesday. 

The environmental groups conducted a joint study on the impact of coal-fired power plants in Cilacap in Central Java and Cirebon in West Java, and found that coal’s “footprint” was destructive in many ways, from the mining process to power plants that left local residents mired in poverty with poor access to electricity.

Read more: Government told to develop renewable energy

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Amid pressure from environmentalists to fast-track a planned moratorium on logging permits, a senior official says the government has not issued concessions for natural forests and peatlands since 2009. 

Under an agreement signed by Indonesia and Norway in Oslo in May, Indonesia has vowed to stop issuing forestry permits for peatland and primary natural forests for two years. 

That moratorium is set to take effect from Jan. 1, 2011. 

In return, Norway will set up a $1 billion fund for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD-Plus) schemes, a UN-backed carbon trading mechanism, in Indonesian forests. 

Read more: Indonesia Government Slows Logging Permits Before Ban

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Sea level rise, worsening flooding and land subsidence in and around Jakarta have prompted Indonesian officials to resurrect plans to move the country’s capital - but local residents and experts say Jakarta itself will not survive unless it adapts to cope with climate change.

Plans to relocate Indonesia’s central government, parliament and public offices to another province on the island of Java or to another island in the Indonesian archipelago have been proposed on and off since the 1930s because of problems in Jakarta including overcrowding and rising sea level, which has led to worsening flooding.

But environmental experts now say a move is urgent to allow officials to soften the impact of climate change on the congested city of 9.6 million people.

Read more: Need to move Indonesia's capital growing urgent in face of climate change, experts say

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