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Vice Presidents’ 4th Debate: Minimal Substance, Failed to Disclosure Environmental Issues

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Vice Presidents’ 4th Debate: Minimal Substance, Failed to Disclosure Environmental Issues

InfoSAWIT, JAKARTA – Many focused on the fourth debate among president and vice president candidates on pada Monday (21/1/2024) evening in Jakarta. The focuses were about sustainable development issues, environment, natural resources, agrarian food, villages and indigenous people. Unfortunately, in the two hour-debate, every vice president candidate failed to  their whole mission about climate crisis as the complex issue that would impact to energy transition, food crisis, and other disasters.

The debate tended to show up gimmick and personal attack, minimal substances, no discussion about such issues. Though every candidate told their mission and vision about the issues, they were lack to deliver concrete solution and it was not satisfied.

One example was the deep misunderstanding about certain programs, such as, palm oil biodiesel usage in B35 and B40. Though it was proposed to be the solution for energy, the potential issue about crude palm oil (CPO) for energy and food needs, was forgotten in the discussion. The unclear solution about CPO needs, could make palm cooking oil disappear, and would be negative for the people.

Executive Director of Satya Bumi, Andi Muttaqien said that there was not clear formulation about CPO distribution for energy and food needs. This would raise worry about unstable palm cooking oil stocks and price because CPO allocation would be more for energy needs than food ones.

As in the official statement to InfoSAWIT, biodiesel issue had lack of solution namely relating to palm oil conglomeration and would be difficult to be supervised. The continuous ambition in biodiesel mixture without structural solution would endanger many people in Indonesia.

Besides, nickel downstream program that was also discussed and proposed by few candidates as the main program, was criticized. Though Indonesia as the biggest nickel producer in the world, its chaotic governance and energy transition, seemed to be oriented for business profits mare than for environmental sustainability and the people.

Deforestation and environmental damages from nickel mining namely in Sulawesi have been a worry. Andi noted the deforestation in Sulawesi from 2001 to 2019 laid on about 2.049.586 hectares. The downstream issue should be seen more than economic potential only but also should confirm that human and natural interests should not be left behind.

To face the complex issues, such as, climate crisis, natural resource governance, it is important for the government, including president and vice president candidates to offer programs in environmental ethic – base within ecocentrism approach. It would involve environmental protection by considering the whole ecosystem interests, not only for human as the central element. Evaluation in the debate would deliver deeper and concrete call to formulate sustainable solution for the future of Indonesia. (T2)