On 31st March 2023, Indonesia held the opening ceremony of the 2023 ASEAN Energy Chairmanship. The theme of this year’s energy chairmanship is “Sustainable Energy Security through Interconnectivity,” and the event was attended by various energy leaders from different international organisations.
During the opening speeches, Mr. Jisman Hutajulu, Directorate General of Electricity, spoke about the period of Indonesia’s chairmanship in the energy sector. Although the energy chairmanship is still held by Cambodia from June 2022 to June 2023, Indonesia was able to start the chairmanship earlier in accordance with the Cambodian Joint Agreement at the Special Senior Officials Meeting on Energy (SOME) in January 2023. He also highlighted the importance of interconnectivity in the energy sector and how Indonesia planned several efforts to realise this goal, including the “ASEAN Ministers Joint Declaration on Sustainable Energy Security through Interconnectivity” and the “BIMP Ministers Joint Statement of the Power Integration Project” to integrate electricity projects in four countries, namely Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines.
Dr. Nuki Agya Utama, Executive Director of the ASEAN Centre for Energy (ACE), congratulated Indonesia for holding the ASEAN chairmanship this year. He believes that Indonesia is well positioned to accelerate the energy transition in ASEAN through greater interconnectivity, fostering innovation and cooperation, and aligning with the ASEAN Plan of Action for Energy Cooperation Phase II 2021-2025.
Following that were the opening speeches from Dr. Fatih Birol, Executive Director of IEA; Mr. Francesco La Camera, IRENA Director-General; Prof. Hidetoshi Nishimura, President of ERIA; Ms. Annabel Brown, Deputy CEO of CPD; Mr. Norimasa Shimomura, UNDP Indonesia Representative; Ms. Sirpa Jarvenpaa, Director of Southeast Asia Energy Transition Partnership of UNOPS.
Mr. Arifin Tasrif, Indonesian Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources, provided his special remarks afterwards. He highlighted the three pillars that Indonesia brought to the ASEAN Energy Chairmanship theme, namely recovery and rebuilding, digital economy, and sustainability. He also conveyed the roadmap and net-zero emission targets in Indonesia and ASEAN and the principle of “No one left behind” by adjusting economic conditions. He hopes that by becoming the Chair of the 2023 ASEAN Energy Chairmanship, Indonesia can strengthen synchronisation to produce concrete deliverables that support sustainable economic growth.
The event then featured a panel session moderated by Ms. Rika Safrina, the Energy Modelling and Policy Planning Officer at ASEAN Centre for Energy. The panellists included Mr. Phuong Dong Tran, Senior Policy Advisor at ERIA; Mr. Aang Darmawan, Indonesia Country Manager at UNOPS; and Mr. Ruddy Gobel, Senior Policy Advisor at the CPD in Australia.
The event was concluded by Mr. Agung Pribadi, Head of Communication, Public Information, Services, and Cooperation, who encouraged all stakeholders to work together to ensure fruitful ASEAN Chairmanship this year. The recording of the event can be seen through this link.