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Government stakeholders from Southeast Asia are participating in a series of workshops on sustainable financing to better support and fund the region’s energy transition.
Around 30 officials from 10 ASEAN Member States will take part in three energy-climate workshops delivered by the Climateworks Centre and ASEAN Centre for Energy (ACE), with support from the Australian Government’s Partnerships for Infrastructure initiative.
The first virtual session on sustainable finance for low-carbon development was held on 12 July, with opening remarks delivered by the Executive Director of ACE, Dr Nuki Agya Utama, Australian Ambassador to ASEAN, Will Nankervis, and Director of External Relations at the Energy Market Authority (EMA) of Singapore, Jonathan Goh.
Ambassador Nankervis said the workshops are an opportunity for Australia to share expertise on green financing with Southeast Asia as the region shifts towards a low-carbon future.
“Sharing Australia’s experiences and expertise with energy and climate policymakers can provide more options to ASEAN governments to more effectively fund and meet their decarbonisation and net zero goals,” he said.
The workshop series aims to open dialogue among ASEAN member states and assist governments in understanding the range of sustainable finance and investment options available to implement renewable energy and emissions reduction plans, as an alternative to using public funds.
The sessions are being held as a follow-up to a joint study conducted by the Climateworks Centre and ACE which identified a need for policymakers to better leverage private sector investment and financing to support the region’s decarbonisation and energy ambitions.
“There remains a continued dependency on public funds for nationally determined contribution implementation, and funding gaps remain to support regional climate finance needs,” said Dr Utama from ACE.
“The workshop reflects strong ASEAN-Australia energy cooperation, supporting ASEAN’s efforts to accelerate energy transition and resilience through cooperation and knowledge sharing under the ASEAN Plan of Action for the Energy Cooperation,” added Jonathan Goh of EMA.
Singapore is chair of the Regional Energy Policy and Planning Sub-Sector Network, a priority program area under the ASEAN Plan of Action for Energy Cooperation (APAEC) Phase II: 2021-2025.
Climateworks Centre is part of the Monash Sustainable Development Institute and aims to accelerate the transition to net zero emissions for Australia, Southeast Asia and the Pacific. Facilitators said topics will draw on Australia’s energy financing experience and best-practice, and include expert speakers from the Clean Energy Finance Corporation and Climate Bonds Initiative.
“Participating countries are encouraged to share their experience and challenges in sustainable finance, particularly for clean energy and infrastructure development. The knowledge exchange between experts and participants will help to form recommendations and action plans to further assist countries in addressing energy transition gaps and challenges,” said Dr. Emi Minghui Gui from the Climateworks Centre.
The second and third workshops are planned to be delivered in late July and August 2022, with a continued focus on supporting ASEAN Member States in achieving energy and climate outcomes, particularly integrated energy and climate planning, and electricity and carbon market design.