Although Joko Widodo said publicly that “without proper management, Indonesia’s coal reserves will only last for the next 83 years” and “demand the responsible use of the resources”, his political actions and policies show no deviation from business-as-usual.113 The political corruption in coal mining is rampant, and its impact on people, the environment and the economy should worry all Indonesians. But there will be no significant change unless anti-fraud government agencies, such
as KPK and the Ombudsman, watchdog NGOs, and the mass media work together to uncover and take action
against corruption in the coal mining business. Several steps are needed to address political corruption in the coal mining business:
- Strengthen law enforcement over coal mining operations. The current weakness is closely related to the presence of PEPs in coal companies’ ownership and leadership.
- Strengthen legal measures to prevent conflict of interest among PEPs, including stronger safeguards against the risk of collusion and political interference caused by the “revolving door phenomenon”, whereby individuals frequently switch between high-level positions in the public and private sectors
- Shine a light on beneficial ownership in the coal mining business. When the true owners of business entities are hidden, it is impossible for the public to know who controls companies.
- Develop a roadmap to close down coal mining business operations in Indonesia. Environmental and human impacts, unsustainable development, and social conflict from coal mining are widespread and inevitable. The roadmap needs to set out a comprehensive energy transition from coal to clean and renewable energy.