Jakarta, Indonesia, 4 July 2019 – 31 local Jakarta residents have officially filed a lawsuit against the government authorities today over the city’s toxic levels of air pollution. The lawsuit holds the government and provincial authorities – including the President of Indonesia, Ministry of Environment and Forestry, Ministry of Health, and Governor of Jakarta – accountable for the lack of actions taken towards Jakarta’s air quality crisis.
Ranked as Southeast Asia’s most polluted city in the IQAir AirVisual 2018 World Air Quality Report, Jakarta has seen a dramatic deterioration in its air quality for at least two weeks. The city surpassed the 24-hour national ambient air quality standard of 65 ug/m3 and was categorised as unhealthy on the Air Quality Index (AQI). Photographs of Indonesia’s capital smothered in chronic smog have gone viral on social media under the hashtag #SetorFotoPolusi.
“A Ministry of Environment and Forestry document stated that Jakarta’s annual PM2.5 average in 2018 was more than double the national ambient air quality standard. The same document also said that Jakarta had 196 unhealthy days last year,” stated Bondan Andriyanu, a Greenpeace Indonesia Campaigner.
In March, the Ministry of Environment and Forestry claimed that transportation caused 70% of Jakarta’s air pollution, but the lack of data makes this figure uncertain.
“The pollution source is not only from motorised vehicles but also from various immovable polluting sources around Jakarta, including eight existing coal-fired power plants. This will only get worse with the four additional coal power plants to be built within a 100 kilometer radius of the city.
“The national government should stop the expansion of new coal power plants surrounding Jakarta and shut down the old ones. At the same time, the Jakarta government should promote the use of renewable energy, such as solar rooftops,” stated Bondan Andriyanu.
According to the Global Burden of Disease, in 2015, ambient air pollution was responsible for 17,600 premature deaths every two days in Asia, or 440 deaths every 2 days in Indonesia.
“My doctor told me that I had spots on my lungs because they were sensitive to the polluted air,” said Istu Prayogi, a local university professor and a plaintiff of the lawsuit. “I believe there are many people out there who are suffering just like me, so I invite everyone to join (the lawsuit) because we all have the right to breathe healthy air.”
 IQAirVisual: 2018 World Air Quality Report on Region & City PM2.5 Ranking
 The Global Burden of Disease data sourced from Global Health Data Exchange
Bondan Andriyanu, Climate and Energy Campaigner, Greenpeace Indonesia: +62 (0) 81 1818 8182, email@example.com
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