An Indonesian court ruled against President Joko Widodo and other senior officials, stating that they had ‘committed an unlawful act by neglecting to take measures to control air pollution in Jakarta.’ 32 plaintiffs, in a ‘citizen lawsuit’ had taken the President, alongside three of his ministers and three provincial governors, to court over concerns about Jakarta’s air pollution situation.
The court ruling is part of growing actions taken across the world against government leaders regarding their role in the environmental crisis.
Jakarta’s air pollution is one of the worst in the world, and reports have been published describing the various adverse impacts on people’s health. The court ordered the defendants to ensure Jakarta’s air complies with air quality standards and formulate an action plan to control pollution. It also ordered implementation of emission testing on polluters and installation of equipment to monito and collect air quality data. These actions could steer Jakarta towards a future with cleaner air, provided the defendants comply.
Less than 24 hours after the verdict, a representative from the Ministry of the Environment and Forestry told the news about plans for an appeal against the court order.