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An Indonesian district court ruled yesterday that Indonesian President Joko Widodo has neglected Jakarta’s residents right to clean air. In a unanimous ruling in favor of the 32 residents who brought the case, the Central Jakarta District Court ordered Widodo, and six other top officials deemed negligent, to improve air quality in the island nation’s capital. The air pollution primarily comes from heavy traffic, factories, and unfiltered coal-fired power plants.
“I want my child to be able to live a healthier life, get clean and healthy air,” one plaintiff, Khalisah Khalid, told BBC Indonesian. “I’m sure all parents, all mothers, want their children to be able to grow and develop… in a clean and healthy environment.”
Because the plaintiffs framed their demands around monitoring and sanctions, the court instructed Widodo to improve the national air quality standard, and provincial governments must test air quality and make the data public. If acted upon, the ruling could lead to cleaner air, improving the health and day-to-day lives of people living in Jakarta.
The Grass is Always Greener
In part motivated by Jakarta’s air pollution, President Widodo is planning to move Indonesia’s capital city to East Kalimantan, a less populated province on a different island known for its diverse range of wildlife and lush rainforests. Earlier this week, the BBC reports that “local media quoted him as saying that officials would benefit from the fresh air and the green environment there.”
The planned move has caused concern that the new capital will lead to deforestation, increased mining for construction materials, and harm to the local indigenous people, collectively known as the Dayaks.
“The Dayaks have been persistent victims of environmental degradation,” Joshua Castellino of the Minority Rights Group International told news agency Reuters. “The abandonment of Jakarta due to pollution and overcrowding is hardly an endorsement for a move into someone else’s backyard where the same will likely occur.“
Delegates attending the COP26 conference in Glasgow will get to see a very cool display during their stay. So cool, in fact, that it’s been frozen since 1765. Artist Wayne Binitie and scientists of the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) have retrieved an Antarctic time capsule containing the world’s purest air. The pocket of atmosphere was […]
By Natasha Lasky, ODP Staff Writer The European Environment Agency (EEA) found that a majority of EU countries broke at least one air pollution limit last year — despite COVID-19 lockdowns. In addition, 17 EU countries failed to stay below ozone pollution targets, which directly influence global warming; and eight EU countries failed to stay […]
By Ashira Morris, ODP Staff Writer Decreasing air pollution increases people’s life expectancy by an average of 2.2 years, according to a new study. Researchers from the University of Chicago found that by bringing pollution across the globe down to the World Health Organization’s guidelines, a collective 17 billion years could be added to the planet’s population’s […]
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