Jakarta Traffic Congestion and Air Pollution

Jakarta is a capital with one of the worst air-pollution issues in the world and needs more robust strategies on controlling air pollution. The survey shows that emissions from the transportation modes are contributing around 70-80 percent to the air pollution index in urban areas.

Data above showed that air pollution had been mainly caused by motorized vehicles, contributing around 70% of Nitrogen Oxides, 40% more than Total Suspended Particles, a notable share of Sulfur Dioxide coming from the diesel engine including the Carbon Monoxide. In terms of international standards, Jakarta’s air pollution level has exceeded by as much as four times as 2006 data shows, only to be predicted to rise by 60% over the next ten years.

This concerning issues has gained Jakarta the title of one of the world’s worst air quality city and has become a severe danger for more than 10 million population’s health that are living in the capital. Early 2000s data from United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) ranked Jakarta as the third most polluted metropolitan only after Mexico City and Bangkok, respectively. On August 3, 2019, AirVisual data showed that Jakarta’s air pollution index is the worst in the world with the level of 174. The following Monday ranks Jakarta third in the world after Beijing, China, and Tashkent, Uzbekistan.

1945 Indonesian Constitution has guaranteed the right for the citizen to access clean air, including the 1999 Law on Environmental Protection and Management. However, the government does not seems to show similar concern as most Jakarta citizens do of the importance of air pollution issues impact the health of many.

Jakarta citizen, along with several institutions, has demand lawsuits for the central government to issue new rules and regulations to control air pollution and its health concern. The 1999 Law on Environmental Protection and Management is considered outdated since there have been so many developments after including new technologies or the global warming crisis. The lawsuit also mentioned that the government should enhance its air quality monitor system and ensure that the information will be available to the general public for assessment.


Mochtar , Muhammad Zulkifli, and Yasuo HINO. “Principal Issues to Improve the Urban Transport Problems in Jakarta.” Mem. Fac. Eng., Osaka City Univ 47 (September 29, 2006).

Nurbianto, Bambang. “Jakarta Needs Tough Air Pollution Control; Are We Ready?” The Jakarta Post. Accessed December 9, 2019. https://www.thejakartapost.com/academia/2019/09/14/jakarta-needs-tough-air-pollution-control-are-we-ready.html.

Walton, Kate. “Jakarta’s Air Quality Kills Its Residents – and It’s Getting Worse.” The Interpreter. The Interpreter, July 1, 2019. https://www.lowyinstitute.org/the-interpreter/jakarta-s-air-quality-kills-its-residents-and-it-s-getting-worse.

1 Comment on “Jakarta Traffic Congestion and Air Pollution

  1. Referring to the photo and bar chart, the increasing rate of the Jakarta’s air pollution level is really amazing. Those toxic substances even tripled within 30 years.It poses a severe impact to the citizens, like physical health and mental health. Besides the air-monitor law proposed by the government, other ways may also be considered an implemented to Jakarta soon.

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