Access To Green Public Transportation Is Integral For Securing Our Green Future – OpEd


In 2022, world leaders gathered in Bali for the G20 summit to chart a new path towards a sustainable green future. Leaders recognised the threat of climate change, whilst reaffirming their belief in the pursuit of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. 

On a unilateral level, the host, Indonesia also presented its own Bali Energy Transitions Roadmap reflecting that nation’s renewed commitment to sustainability and clean energy. Indeed, inspired by the vision of the current Indonesian leadership, the roadmap sought to elevate its own national green energy transition efforts to the level of global leaders. 

Indonesia’s leadership of the green energy transition is not just a practical decision but a moral imperative. The Bali Roadmap therefore argues in favour of the immediate scaling up funding for the development of clean energy technologies, helping stakeholders across Indonesia navigate the clean energy transition, with the ultimate goal of achieving net-zero emissions by 2060.

At the heart of those aforementioned goals set forward at the G20, lies the creation of the infrastructure needed for green public transport. 

Indonesia’s international leadership on this issue is derived from our own domestic experience, where transport is the most energy intensive sector in our economy. In fact, of all of Indonesia’s greenhouse gas emissions, the transportation sector is the second largest GHG emitter (23%), with overall road transport contributing 90% of the sector’s emissions. (data: Institute for Essential Services Reform (IESR), 2023)

Working together with both the government and the private sector to facilitate greener public transport options is therefore of the utmost importance. 

Rapid motorisation combined with both economic and population growth, will see the demand for transport (which is currently 90% reliant on fossil fuels) in Southeast Asia increase by 60% from 2013 to 2040. According to the ASEAN Secretariat, it is expected that in 2050 CO2 emissions from transport will stand at 870 million tonnes per year. Although challenging, by revolutionising the provision of electrified public transport, as well as private electrified vehicles, the region can and will dramatically reduce its CO2 emissions. (data: ASEAN Secretariat)

Lessons can be learned from other nations in the region. For example, in Thailand, all vehicles used by the public sector are expected to be zero-emission vehicles by 2035. 

Indeed, in 2019, ASEAN announced a strategy for sustainable public transport across the wider region. ASEAN members – without exception – face widespread issues from mass transportation, such as congestion and air quality. The paper also pointed out that green public transport can offer broader economic benefits, such as greater agricultural productivity and improved urban to rural connectivity. Additionally, and importantly, the strategy paper noted that the shift to green public transport can alleviate poverty by providing greater, affordable access to basic services such as schools and hospitals.  

The benefits of the green transition are therefore patently clear. The most challenging and pressing question is of course finding the most optimal way to accomplish this in a secure and affordable manner; keeping the lights on and keeping energy bills down.

Seeing the great potential in the development of electric vehicles in Indonesia, in 2022 Indika Energy launched electric two-wheelers named ALVA. Currently, ALVA produces three electric motorcycle models: ALVA One, ALVA Cervo, and ALVA One XP. Indonesia currently holds the highest two-wheeler ownership penetration in the world at around 42 percent – based on the number of vehicles owned per 100 of the population – and is the third largest market for two-wheelers in general, with 6 million motorcycles sold annually. Our objective is to support the Indonesian Government’s target of 3.2 million two-wheel electric vehicles on the road by 2035.

We also welcome the decision by the government of Greater Jakarta to lead by example and committed to 100% bus electrification by 2030. This is particularly significant considering that the city’s rapid bus transit system is one of the largest largest in the world stretching to 250 km overall, and serving one million passengers per day. (data: 

Indika Energy through Kalista, a subsidiary which provides a wide variety of electric vehicles as fleet as a service including electric buses, has been collaborating with the Indonesian Governments to provide electric buses in five cities across Indonesia (Jakarta, Bogor, Bandung, Surabaya, Medan). One of the main objectives of this initiative is to support Indonesia’s energy transition and ultimately the country’s net-zero target.  

Southeast Asian governments therefore must also help facilitate this transition with smart public policy. By allocating resources towards greater provision of green public transport, citizens will have realistic alternatives to travelling by private transports. 

The burden cannot however fall on the national governments alone. The region must work co-operatively and collectively to allocate more malleable budgets for these issues, addressing common challenges as they arise. ASEAN members have argued that by co-operating as a regional bloc, countries can use their individual expertise in research, capacity building, or development to help facilitate this transition faster.

It is often said that the green energy transition represents not just a reaction to the threat of climate change, but also an opportunity to create a healthier and more economically productive planet. Indonesia and Southeast Asia are in an excellent position to seize this opportunity, driving forward the future global economy. 

Purbaja Pantja

Purbaja Pantja, Director and Group Chief Investment Officer, Indika Energy.

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