In this issue of Climate Insight, we explore the AMS’ latest efforts to promote clean energy. We highlight transformative changes in the region driven by a collective commitment to address climate change and adapt to its impacts.
In this issue of Climate Insight, we showcase the significant initiatives and partnerships propelling the shift towards a greener future in the region.
In this Q1/2023 Climate Insight, we highlight the ASEAN countries’ latest efforts to promote clean energy. We noted the rise of electric vehicles (EV) in ASEAN, and the increasing international and regional cooperation in energy transition and climate actions.
In our Insight of Q3 2021, we noted that several ASEAN Member States (AMS) had updated their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) ahead of the United Nation Climate Change Conference (COP26) which was to be held on 31 October – 12 November in Glasgow, Scotland. These NDCs had four main components aimed at reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions: first, the crucial role of liquefied natural gas (LNG) in accelerating the energy transition to renewable energy; second, the potential adoption of carbon capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS) technology; third, floating solar photovoltaics (PV) innovation in reducing GHG emissions; and fourth, the potential of hydrogen as a game-changing green fuel.
The Covid-19 pandemic resulted in the reduction of oil and gas supply and demand in 2020. With the increased vaccination rates in 2021, it is hoped that the rebound of the oil and gas sector will drive economic activities towards recovery, which began in Q1. Indeed, the oil and gas sectors are still at the heart of the regional energy agenda to maintain energy security, affordability and support the economy. But the ongoing momentum of the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) reminds the ASEAN member states (AMS) to fulfil their climate commitments. Furthermore, according to The 6th ASEAN Energy Outlook, it is predicted that ASEAN will become a net importer of gas around 2024 and of coal in 2035, while the region has been a net importer of oil since before 2005. Therefore, the role of natural gas has become crucial in transforming ASEAN into a low-carbon economy.
With the Covid-19 pandemic persisting through 2021, the renewable energy (RE) sector has shown itself resilient in its drive towards helping economic recovery. The ASEAN Member States (AMS) have been actively strengthening their policy framework to support the adoption of RE, along with advancing RE technology. This has resulted in the widening role of RE regionally, especially solar and wind power. Natural resources such as geothermal and hydropower have also been optimised to fully decarbonise the power system. Moreover, ASEAN has seen growth in the adoption of lowcarbon transportation, such as electric vehicles (EVs) and vehicles that use biofuels.
Following the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic, many countries have been moving towards recovery of their vital
sectors. It was hoped that the world in 2021, especially ASEAN countries, would recuperate, ideally to pre-pandemic levels. The electricity sector has a major role in supporting the countries’ economic recovery after many power projects were delayed in 2020.
Entering the third quarter of 2021, global attention is still focused on Covid-19 issues. The ASEAN region has been hit particularly hard by the pandemic and is still fighting hard to suppress its spread. There is no doubt that the pandemic has had huge impacts on the energy sector. In order to discuss their continuing efforts to reach the goals of energy security and transition, the ASEAN Member States (AMS) held their 39th ASEAN Ministers on Energy Meeting (39th AMEM) in September 2021.