Blue ecosystems and ocean-based sectors, such as maritime transport and offshore renewable energy, can contribute 49 per cent of Indonesia’s net zero emissions transition.

This is according to a Climateworks Centre report that details the potential of ocean-based mitigation in achieving Paris-Aligned decarbonisation pathways, and the opportunity for ocean sectors to propel Indonesia’s climate leadership.

‘Ocean-based mitigation presents an exciting opportunity for Indonesia. Globally, Indonesia is in the top ten of the biggest emitters – but also has strong maritime leadership,’ said Guntur Sutiyono, Climateworks Centre Indonesia country lead. 

The report, ‘Sea of Opportunity: Ocean-based mitigation to support Indonesia’s climate ambition’ compares Indonesia’s current emissions trajectory with the Indonesian government’s formal Transition and Low carbon compatible scenarios. It is published by Climateworks Centre, an independent not-for-profit working within Monash University. 

‘Our analysis finds the emissions gap between these scenarios could be closed by 19 per cent in 2030 and 49 per cent in 2050, which highlights the contribution ocean-based mitigation could make to Indonesia’s goal of reaching net zero by 2060,’ Mr Sutiyono said.

‘The ocean has traditionally been overlooked as a solution in climate change globally, but even more so for countries like Indonesia, which have significant ocean-mitigation opportunities. This work maps the potential of mangrove and seagrasses protection and restoration, offshore wind and the electrification of marine transport in meeting Indonesia’s climate goals for 2030 and 2050.’

The report highlights the significant climate mitigation potential of Indonesia’s coastal and ocean areas, drawing attention to the inclusion of ocean-based action in Indonesia’s forthcoming ‘Second NDC’ (nationally determined contribution), due in 2025. 

It was prepared by Climateworks Centre to demonstrate the value and impact of Indonesia’s ocean-based mitigation potential, and raise the profile of ocean decarbonisation measures and the role it can play in pathways to net-zero. The findings presented in this report are the result of the Southeast Asia Framework for Ocean Action in Mitigation (SEAFOAM) project. The release includes a summary report and technical report. 

‘SEAFOAM seeks to leverage the ocean’s power to reduce emissions at scale through practical action and leadership, so ocean-climate action can flourish in both Indonesia and across the region,’ said Mr Sutiyono. 

Phase 1 of SEAFOAM conducted a pilot project to assess the decarbonisation potential of the country’s marine and coastal resources. The findings demonstrated that Indonesia could become a regional leader in ocean-based mitigation through enhancing efforts to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

‘The report contains dozens of specific and achievable recommendations. For example, by committing to reduce emissions from domestic maritime passenger transport by 20 per cent, Indonesia could mitigate 2.1–2.8 MtCO2e per year by 2030,’ he said.  

‘We hope by providing tangible solutions we can inspire action and spark a conversation about the interplay between climate action, ocean protection and the broader sustainable development goals.’