Jokowi's own commitment questioned after his call for global climate action

Radar Tegal – January 27, 2021
People wade through food water in Banjar regency, South Kalimantan – January 22, 2021 (Antara)

Jakarta – President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo has called for stronger global commitments, in this case from the advanced countries, to tackle climate change. This, said Widodo, is because the impacts of climate change were very real for archipelagic nations like Indonesia.

"The impact of climate [change] is very real and before our eyes. Particularly for archipelago countries such as Indonesia", said Widodo during a virtual speech at the 2021 Climate Adaptation Summit (CAS) Ministerial Level Conference (KTT) hosted by the Netherlands on Tuesday January 26.

His statement however has been criticised by Pro-Democracy (Prodem) activist Nicho Silalahi, who suggested that Widodo look at his own record.

"Aduh, if you want to call for a global commitment try some self introspection first, have you made a commitment?", asked Silalahi on his Twitter account on Wednesday January 27.

According to Silalahi, during Widodo's two terms in office since 2014, huge areas of forest have been felled to make way for mines and palm oil plantations.

"Try checking first during your era how much forest has been cut down and its function shifted to mining and palm oil plantations? Please Mr don't make blunders so often", Silalahi was quoted as saying.

Earlier, Widodo added that the climate change issue has become more complex because of the Covid-19 pandemic. Because of this, he is inviting world leaders to take major steps to deal with climate change by strengthening global partnerships.

The former Solo mayor also invited all countries to meet their national contribution to dealing with climate change (Nationally Determined Contribution/NDC). Widodo said that Indonesia has already done this.

Widodo said that Indonesia itself has launched the Climate Village program which by 2024 will cover 20,000 villages. "Of course the advanced countries [must also] meet their commitments", said Widodo.

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "Tagih Komitmen Dunia Soal Penghijauan, Jokowi Dikritik Aktivis ProDem: Coba Introspeksi Dulu Deh!".]