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In commitment to energy transition, Indonesia deploys electric vehicles for G20 summit

DENPASAR: When world leaders arrive for the G20 summit in Bali, they will be picked up by electric vehicles in a symbolic move showcasing Indonesia’s commitment to energy transition.

The upcoming summit will take place on Nov. 15 to 16, culminating Indonesia’s presidency of the group of 20 biggest economies and more than 200 working group meetings and side events held throughout the year.

The largest Muslim-majority nation and the world’s fourth most populous, Indonesia had focused its chairmanship of G20 on steering post-coronavirus pandemic recovery, energy transition, and digital transformation.

Hosting G20 events this year has also been an opportunity for the Southeast Asian country to promote its potential of becoming a regional hub for manufacturing electric vehicles — an industry the Indonesian government has been developing in recent years.

EVs are set to be the only mode of transportation during the summit in Bali, and the host country has prepared more than 1,400 vehicles — 962 electric cars, 454 electric motorcycles, and 36 electric buses — to shuttle delegates, journalists, and security personnel in and around the main venues.

“The Indonesian government is very serious about entering renewable energy, which includes moving toward using electric vehicles,” Adita Irawati, a transportation ministry spokesperson, told Arab News ahead of the summit.

One of the world’s emitters of carbon dioxide, Indonesia announced in October a new target to cut emissions levels by 31.89 percent on its own, which is a target more ambitious than its Paris Agreement pledge. It also hopes to achieve net zero emissions by 2060.

Irawati said the transportation ministry was committed to reducing exhaust emissions from fossil fuel-based vehicles and that the Indonesian government had set a goal to have 2 million EVs hit the country’s roads by 2025.

“We have also developed an ecosystem for electric vehicles, so that Indonesia is not only a market or consumer of electric vehicles, but also a producer of electric vehicles, because we have the natural resources producing components for electric vehicles,” she added.

Indonesia is the world’s largest miner of nickel, a crucial component for EV batteries. In August, it signed a deal with the world’s top EV producer Tesla for $5 billion worth of nickel products over the next five years.

The introduction of EVs during the G20 summit is seen as a symbolic step toward meeting Indonesia’s 2060 net zero emissions and a display of its potential to do so.

“It is a step in the right direction, and I am happy that Indonesia decided to show it to the world at the G20,” Agus Sari, environmentalist and chief executive of Landscape Indonesia, which focuses on sustainable landscape management, told Arab News.

“The use of electric vehicles during the G20 shows a symbol of the beginning of a transformation.”

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