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Energy Matters: Just and Inclusive Transition to Low Carbon Development

By Dr Nuki Agya Utama and Dr Zulfikar Yurnaidi
06 February 2024

ASEAN’s economy has grown tremendously and is on track for continuing progress. With the total population reaching about 792 million people in 2050, the economy is expected to grow by 4.6 per cent annually (CAGR) from 2020 to 2050. To ensure this growth trajectory, the region’s energy demand needs to be met.

According to the baseline scenario of the 7th ASEAN Energy Outlook, the demand for primary energy (i.e., energy extracted from natural resources such as crude oil and natural gas) is expected to quadruple during the same period. However, regional efforts to pursue energy efficiency and adopt renewable energy measures could limit this increase to 2.7 times, emphasising the importance of “decoupling” economic growth and energy demand (ASEAN Centre for Energy, 2022).

These efforts are aligned with the global focus on climate change mitigation. Energy accounts for the bulk of total emissions, reaching 51 per cent by 2025. The global push to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly Goal number 7 on affordable and clean energy; limit global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees per the Paris Agreement; and reach net-zero or carbon neutrality targets, are among the factors shaping the ASEAN energy sector.

This op-ed was published in The ASEAN Magazine. The original article can be found here.