Protect Indonesia from Environmentally Damaging Coal Plant

Target: Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono

Goal: Preserve Indonesia’s environment and local livelihoods.

Despite protest from locals and environmental groups, Indonesia is going forward with construction of what will be the largest coal-fired power plant in the region. The plant is estimated to release high amounts of carbon and mercury into a marine protected area. Please sign this petition and protect Indonesia from the environmental and social implications of this large industrialization.

Developers need approximately 200 hectares of land to build the largest coal-fired power plant in Batang, Central Java. The planned PLTU Batang plant will have a 2000 megawatt capacity that will release about 10.8 million tons of carbon into the atmosphere – more than the entire carbon emissions of Myanmar in 2009. Protesters question how the plant fits into President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emission in Indonesia by 26% by the year 2020. Villagers allege the government is attempting to bully them out of their land, although many have united and claim they are still in possession of nearly 70% of their ancestral land. While the government claims that acquiring the land is not an issue, locals believe they have a tight grip on what is theirs to protect.

Five villages have protested the project by refusing to release their land on fears of environmental damage to the area. A number of environmental groups are also protesting the project saying it overlaps with a marine protected area and has the potential to negatively affect the region’s land and air quality. Greenpeace Indonesia has spoken out against the plant citing potential damage. The plant will release 226 kg of mercury each year and will overlap with the Ujungnegoro-Roban marine conservation area, polluting rich fishing waters and threatening the livelihoods of local fishermen.

Please protect Indonesia’s environment and villager’s livelihood by signing this petition in protest of the development of a dangerous and damaging coal plant.


Dear President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono,

Your decision to push development of a large coal-fired power plant in Batang, Central Java is a slap in the face to the local villagers who depend on their ancestral land for life. Your promise to reduce carbon emissions is made impossible by constructing the incredibly large and damaging power plant that furthers your dependence on coal. The plant will not only damage the air quality of Indonesia, but will also pollute the waters with mercury, thereby ending the careers of village fisherman in the area. The production of this plant is irresponsible, inhuman and damaging for the country you represent.

Five villages have united in protest of the power plant by refusing to give up their land, livelihood and way of life so that you can build a 200 hectare facility. While government officials remain optimistic about acquiring the land, villagers contend that they still possess 70% of their land and have no plans to give it up. Villagers also allege illegal intimidation and human rights abuses from police and government representatives in attempting to acquire the land. It is not only illegal and abusive for you to treat your people this way, it is also unethical and puts into question your motives for continuing with project.

The environmental implications of the plant will damaging much of the region. The 2000 megawatt facility will release 10.8 million tons of carbon into the atmosphere, greater than the entire carbon emissions of Myanmar in 2009. You’ve decided to move forward with the project in spite of your promise to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Indonesia by 26% in the year 2020. Not only will the plant effect air quality, it will also effect water quality. According to a press release in protest of the plant by Greenpeace Indonesia, The plant will release 226 kg of mercury each year. The release goes on to say that the plant’s construction will overlap with the Ujungnegoro-Roban marine conservation area, polluting rich fishing waters and threatening the livelihoods of local fishermen.

The social and environmental impact this plant stands to impose on the people and their land is not worth increasing your dependence on coal. Please stop development of the plant and restore the area to how you found it.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: news.mongabay via Yahoo

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One Comment

  1. Erich Gamba says:

    Maybe this petition should also be forwarded to the World Bank Group? WBG is aiding an Indonesian coal-based power plant, one of the largest coal-fired power plants in southeast Asia, despite its propagated policy of discouraging coal. read more about it here.

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