Will people survive without clean energy?

By Shaffizie Shafie and Shofilula Fajru

Energy should not just be cheap but must be affordable for all people, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Inisiatif Dagang Hijau (IDH) Indonesia, Fitrian Ardiansyah, said in his talk titled “Affordable and Clean Energy and Disability Inclusion”.

Inisiatif Dagang Hijau (IDH) or so-called Sustainable Trade Initiative is an organisation (foundation) that works with businesses, financiers, governments and civil society to realise sustainable trade in global value chains.

Ardiansyah told the audience recently that affordable energy meant to have an access to the energy which are electricity, solar and many more. “It is important to make sure that everyone has access to energy,” he said. 

However, he added, it is not only “access to energy” that must be considered, but access to energy obtained must be “access to clean energy”.

Stressing the importance of clean energy, Ardiansyah said, “Clean energy is so important to ensure that air pollution can be reduced.

For example, the carbon dioxide from cars can be reduced if people are not dependent only on cars and start to use public transport. Moreover, the particles in that unclean air can cause diseases.”

He said that people’s dependence on cars is having a massive relation in creating unclean energy.

“The particles in dirty air due to the unclean energy are small enough to enter the human lungs, which cause lung disease and could lead to cancer if inhaled. Furthermore, clean energy will help as well to reverse climate change and reduce environmental impacts,” Ardiansyah said.

In the Quran, Allah mentioned in chapter 2 verse 222, which means: “Surely Allah loves those who always turn to Him in repentance and those who purify themselves.”

This Quranic verse clearly mentions the importance of cleanliness and purification where energy is not excluded from it.

Moreover, clean energy can boost the development of a country and support a better environment for the disability. 

He said that the obstacle in enhancing such clean energy is hard to go through. The policy of the government itself plays an important role that affects the development of clean energy. One example of it is the price of fossil fuel.

“The problem is that no one is brave and willing enough to raise this issue. So, our company feels responsible to bring this issue to the government,” Fitrian Ardiansyah said.

IDH Indonesia does not stop at affordable clean energy; the company also has an inclusiveness programme, including general inclusion, marginal people inclusion, disability inclusion and also the programme for the people who need to be supported, especially those who live in rural areas through the company’s sustainable supply chains.

Dialogue and forum is the best way to ensure that the government is aware about this issue in order to develop better technology. This is to ensure that rights of the disability is guaranteed and secured. 

Another obstacle to getting clean energy affordable for the people, especially in terms of disability inclusion, is that the price of renewable energy is still high enough. For example, the cost of finding the resources is around USD200 million only for exploration which will affect the market price of the energy itself. 

Ardiansyah therefore suggested for the government to partner with the related company to help the disability regarding clean energy.

“IDH believes that action-driven coalitions will drive the impact on the Sustainable Development Goals and create value for all,” he said. ***

(The co-writer of this article, late Muhammad Shaffizie Muhammad Shafie, passed away on 26 May 2021)

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