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Indonesia’s Untold Methane Story in Coal Mining


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Indonesia’s coal mining sector faces challenges in accurately estimating and reporting methane emissions, which are significantly under-reported. The nation’s reliance on outdated methods and failure to account for underground coal mine methane (CMM) pollution poses a threat to its international climate commitments.

Current Reporting Discrepancies

Indonesia, the world’s third-largest coal miner, has been using outdated methods to estimate methane emissions, leading to discrepancies in official figures. The lack of reporting on CMM from underground mining activities results in pollution levels that are up to eight times higher than reported.

Impact on Climate Commitments

The discrepancies in Indonesia’s methane emissions reporting could jeopardize the nation’s efforts to reduce greenhouse gas releases and meet commitments under the Global Methane Pledge. With over 150 countries pledging to cut methane emissions by 30% by the end of the decade, Indonesia must address this issue urgently.

Environmental Impact of Methane

Methane, a potent greenhouse gas and the second-largest contributor to global warming after CO2, has significant implications for climate change. Indonesia’s failure to accurately report methane emissions from coal mining activities contributes to the environmental challenges posed by this harmful gas.

Recommendations for Improvement

To improve accuracy and transparency in methane emissions reporting, Indonesia should enhance its data collection methods and differentiate between emissions from underground and surface mines. Analyzing emissions from individual mines and adopting a more accurate reporting approach are essential steps in aligning with global efforts to combat climate change effectively.

Call for Government Action

Stakeholders and activists are urging the Indonesian government to prioritize CMM management, identify regions with high CMM production, and address the under-reporting of methane pollution. Enhancing the accessibility of coal mining and methane data will be crucial in achieving the goals of the Global Methane Pledge and mitigating the harmful effects of methane emissions on the environment.

Need for Standardized Measurement Methods

The lack of standardized measurement methods, particularly for fugitive emissions, has contributed to the data gap in Indonesia’s methane emissions reporting. Establishing robust standards and monitoring practices will enhance transparency and accountability in reporting methane emissions from coal mining activities.


Indonesia must take proactive measures to address the hidden methane emissions from its coal mining sector. By enhancing monitoring, data collection, and reporting practices, Indonesia can play a crucial role in mitigating climate change and upholding its international commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

News Desk, where most of the News Item edit for THE THINK TANK JOURNAL

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