CELIOS and POLGOV UGM Disseminate the Tragedy of Energy Sovereignty Recentralization

Yogyakarta, May 29th 2024─The discussion of the dominance of the Central Government that legitimizes the centralization of all aspects in the name of energy sovereignty and national interests was presented by POLGOV UGM and CELIOS in the dissemination of the book “Seizing Control of the Energy Transition: The Tragedy of Regional Autonomy in Energy Transition Policy”. The activity was carried out in a hybrid manner at the BA Building 4th Floor of the Faculty of Social and Political Sciences UGM and broadcast live through the Zoom Meeting and Youtube of DPP UGM and CELIOS on Wednesday, (29/05). “This book is written on the basis of anxiety and some CELIOS research over the past two years on the issue of energy transition and local government,” explained Muhammad Saleh, author of the book as well as CELIOS researcher. Bintang Hanggono (Lingkar Keadilan Ruang), Ardiman Kelihu (PolGov UGM Researcher), M. Addi Fauzani (Lecturer & Researcher on Regional Autonomy PSHK FH UII) were also present as speakers.

“The big point written in the book is the aspect of energy centralization carried out by the government in relation to regional autonomy,” Saleh continued. There are two serious problems with the energy transition in the regions, which are: an elitist narrative as if the energy transition is only an issue for the Central Government and certain parties; and a gap between the understanding of the local level community and the central government. Centralization is also manifested in the Mineral and Coal Law and Job Creation Law which shift aspects of energy transition to the central government. So that the aspects of supervision, guidance, and practical licensing are not owned by the local government.

“The Central Government may have forgotten and has neglected the compromise agreed upon during the reformation. The political law that we agreed upon together was to put the meeting point of regional autonomy in place to bridge between the state, the central government, and the interests of local governments,” explained Addi Fauzan. So, there needs to be an overhaul of the initial agreement and commitment regarding the involvement of the region as a party involved and contributing to the implementation of government in the region.

Meanwhile, according to Bintang, energy sovereignty is synonymous with the idea of how regulations are made that electricity is energy that must be controlled. The electricity sector is considered a land-greedy sector that has expanded on community-owned land, including indigenous and civilian communities, which has a major impact. The real case was also found that a monopoly on the interpretation of state control rights through national strategic projects over energy affairs in Indonesia was held by the central government. This illustrates that energy management is still very centralized, undemocratic, non-transparent and non-participatory.

The discussion presented in the book opens the presumption that we are always kept away from the knowledge of what we consume today. That is, we are always positioned as consumers without knowing what we consume. The transformation of the discourse on energy transition into a discourse that is more simple, down-to-earth, and seeks to turn the object of study into subjects who able to talk about energy issues with their own voices needs to be implemented. The book dissemination as well as the discussion organized is in line with the 4th Sustainable Development Goal, namely Peace, justice and resilient institutions.