It's getting hotter

Kompas Newspaper – June 7, 2023

Man: It's getting hotter and hotter...

Woman: The weather or the politics?

Billboard reads "Working for the people 2024"

Global warming combined with the El Nino weather phenomenon has seen Indonesia recording some of the hottest weather on record this year.

According to data from the Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) since 1981, Indonesia has experienced an annual temperature rise of around 0.03 degrees Celsius or a rise of up to 0.9 degrees over the last 30 years.

The average air temperature on Indonesia's major islands is predicted to rise by 3 degrees Celsius by the end of the century, with air temperatures already 1 degree higher than before the industrial revolution.

Recent studies have also linked rising temperatures with deforestation to make way for palm oil plantations, coal mining and the timber industry, with one province seeing temperature rise nearly a whole degree Celsius in just 16 years.

A report published in the Lancet Planetary Health using publicly available data revealed how the clearing of 4,375 square kilometres of forest in Berau Regency in East Kalimantan had increased daily maximum temperatures by 0.95 degrees Celsius.

The political climate is also heating up with President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo facing criticised for political maneuvering that his opponents refer to as "cawe-cawe" or meddling in the 2024 elections.

Widodo has made no secret of his support for, if not endorsement, of presumptive presidential candidates Central Java Governor Ganjar Pranowo from Widodo's Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) and Prabowo Subianto of the Greater Indonesia Movement Party (Gerindra).

The formation of the United Indonesia Coalition (KIB), consisting of the Golkar Party, the United Development Party (PPP) and the National Mandate Party (PAN) – as well as the alliance of Gerindra and the National Awakening Party (PKB) – cannot be separated from Widodo's efforts to ensure the 2024 elections goes his own way.

Critics, including the coalition that supports the nomination of former Jakarta governor Anies Baswedan, which is trying to build an image as the antithesis of the Widodo administration, have accused the president of violating the principles of neutrality and undermining free and fair elections.