A community group calling itself the Gerakan Inisiatif Bersihkan Udara Koalisi Ibu Kota (Capital City Coalition Clean Air Initiative Movement) recently filed a lawsuit against the government which was deemed to have failed in controlling air pollution in DKI Jakarta and its surroundings. The defendants included the President, the Minister of Environment and Forestry, the Minister of Home Affairs, the Minister of Health, the Governor of DKI Jakarta, the Governor of West Java, and the Governor of Banten. However, after being postponed eight times, the trial for the lawsuit was finally held on September 16, 2021 at the Central Jakarta District Court. The judge’s decision was to grant the claim and declare the defendant guilty.

Sentences for the Defendants

As they are declared to have violated the law, the judge also announced several sentences to all the defendants. All sentences imposed are also in accordance with what is being sued by Koalisi Ibu Kota. Among them:

  • Sentencing President Joko Widodo to establish national ambient air quality standards that are sufficient to protect human health, the environment and ecosystems, including the health of sensitive populations based on developments in science and technology.
  • Sentencing the Minister of Environment and Forestry (Siti Nurbaya Bakar) to supervise the Governor of DKI (Anies Baswedan), Governor of Banten (Wahidin Halim), and Governor of West Java (Ridwan Kamil), in conducting an inventory of cross-border emissions of DKI Jakarta, Banten, and West Java.
  • Sentencing the Minister of Home Affairs (Tito Karnavian) to supervise and guide the performance of the Governor of DKI in controlling air pollution.
  • Sentencing the Minister of Health (Budi Gunadi Sadikin) to calculate the reduction in health impacts due to air pollution in DKI Province which needs to be achieved as a basis for consideration by the Governor of DKI in formulating strategies and action plans for controlling air pollution.

Other sentences include supervising emissions testing and fuel marketing standards. As well as formulating and implementing strategic air pollution control action plans that are focused on the target and involve public organizations. The defendants were also sentenced to pay court fees of around Rp 4.2 billion.

Defendants’ Responses

Special staff from several defendants have submitted their responses. One of them is the Presidential Special Staff, Dini Purwono, who stated that the party was still waiting for a copy of the court’s decision. She also emphasized that as long as the court’s decision is in line with the spirit to improve the quality of public services, President Joko Widodo will support it.

Meanwhile, the Governor of DKI Jakarta, Anies Baswedan, stated that he would not file an appeal to the court. Through his Twitter account, @aniesbaswedan, he wrote, “Blue skies in Jakarta today. Today, the Central Jakarta District Court granted the Capital City Coalition’s lawsuit regarding air pollution. The DKI Jakarta Provincial Government has decided NOT to appeal.” He also added that he was ready to undergo a court decision for a better Jakarta air.

Unlike the Governor of DKI Jakarta, the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, whose minister is the defendant, has decided to file an appeal. Task Executor for Director-General of Pollution Control at the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, Sigit Relianto, said that the party had already done what the Koalisi Ibu Kota had demanded. Therefore, the party will use the legal procedure in the form of an appeal for this court decision.