TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - President Jokowi’s decision to move the capital city from Jakarta in the Java Island to East Kalimantan presents a new fear for environmentalist and Head of Greenpeace Indonesia, Leonard Simanjuntak as it opens the possibility of seeing forest land conversions for urban constructions.
He fears that the move no longer considers environmental protection as its main priority and might cause a number of environmental problems, which he said have struck Jakarta today.
“We can see the fact that the pollution in Jakarta comes not only from the transportation sector but also from the many coal power plants that are located in Jakarta’s vicinity. If the upcoming capital city relies on coal as Jakarta depends on today, don’t expect it to be free of air pollution,” said Leonard quoted from Antara on Wednesday, August 28.
His fears are justified as the government plans to continue to construct mine-mouth electric plants powered by burning coal in several locations in East Kalimantan. The Greenpeace Indonesia Head calls for the plans to be scrapped as it goes against the concept of establishing the new capital city as a smart and green city.