Jakarta (ANTARA) - Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan has said that the government will focus on controlling emissions in three sectors in efforts to improve air quality in Jakarta-Bogor-Depok-Tangerang-Bekasi (Jabodetabek).

According to him, the three sectors are transportation, industry and electricity generation, and the environment.

He conveyed this during a coordination meeting on "Efforts to Improve Air Quality in the Greater Jakarta Area," which was attended by officials from ministries/agencies (K/L) as well as Jakarta, Banten, and West Java regional governments on Friday.

"In an effort to improve air quality, emission control must be focused on those three things. We will work from the upstream to downstream sector. Comprehensive air quality monitoring and active participation of the community are also needed as part of a joint effort," he said in a statement.

The minister emphasized the government's commitment to overcoming this problem, and the importance of cross-sectoral solutions to reduce emissions in Jabodetabek. Therefore, action is needed from upstream to downstream to achieve a holistic solution.

He informed that to reduce pollution from the industrial sector and power plants, the government will require industries to use scrubbers for big industry and coal-fired power plants, as well as increase the emission standards for power plants.

Furthermore, the use of coal power plants (PLTU) will also need to be reduced through early retirement or reduction of the PLTU capacity factor. Acceleration of the energy transition by encouraging a mix of new and renewable energy is also needed, including incentives such as carbon credits and carbon taxes, he continued.

Meanwhile, in the transportation sector, encouraging the use of public transportation could help reduce emissions since the majority of emissions are caused by private vehicles, the minister said.

This would include restrictions on the mobility of private vehicles, such as road space rationing, which need to be expanded to encourage the adoption of public transportation, Pandjaitan added.

In addition, emission testing during the licensing process and traffic monitoring needs to be tightened, including by slapping penalties on violators, he said.

According to him, efforts to encourage companies to divide working hours to reduce congestion — which contributes to an increase in the amount of pollutants on the road — will also be implemented soon.

"We continue to encourage the use of public transportation and increase the capacity of public transportation during peak hours. We will provide incentives to passengers to switch from private vehicles. We will also continue to accelerate the vehicle electrification process to reduce combustion emissions," the minister disclosed.

He said these efforts have been adopted by many other countries, such as Beijing, which has succeeded in significantly reducing air pollution by focusing on handling the three sectors.

The government must also learn from these countries regarding tight supervision and strict action against violators, he added.

The government will set up a task force to coordinate cross-agency air quality improvement efforts in the Greater Jakarta area.

"With direct directions from President Joko Widodo, we are committed to achieving real results in improving the air quality for the sake of our future generation," he disclosed.

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Translator: Ade Irma J, Resinta S
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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