Friday, May 31, 2024 | 05:06 WIB

El Nino worsens Jakarta’s air quality, 7th most polluted city in the world


Jakarta, IO – The Center for Research on Energy and Clean Air (CREA) published a study on air quality across Indonesia. In the capital Jakarta, last year’s pollution level was found to be the worst since 2019 due to El Nino.

“Even though there is a slight improvement between 2020 and 2022, the increase in pollution in 2023 is considered a significant setback,” said CREA analyst Katherine Hasan, per, Fri (5/4).

It noted that the PM 2.5 concentration in Jakarta was constant in the unhealthy range, namely 40-50 μg/m3 from June to end of 2023. The World Health Organization (WHO) in 2021 set the annual PM 2.5 limit at 5 μg/m3, more than ten times the WHO guideline.

“In addition, Jakarta was named the seventh most polluted capital cities in the world based on the annual average PM2.5 by IQAir in 2023,” he said.

Transportation aside, power plants and industrial sector are the two major sources of pollutant exacerbated by El Nino because it makes the dry season drier, low rainfall, and wildfire.

CREA also conducted research on the residents of Jakarta and several other cities in Sumatra and Kalimantan, who were exposed to unhealthy and dangerous levels of PM2.5. It is clear that air pollution has caused significant health impacts on public health, regardless of differences in the duration and variation of exposure to PM2.5 within 24 hours.

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Katherine emphasized that air pollution is a threat that must be addressed immediately. If not, the impact will be felt not only on health but also on the Indonesian economy. As a solution, CREA calls for the implementation of National Air Quality Standards as stipulated in Government Regulation 22/2021.

“Meaningful interventions to systematically reduce national-scale air pollution and enforce a strict forest and land fire management framework must be prioritized to avoid foreseeable national risks in the coming years,” she said. (bp)


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