Brunei Darussalam, 15 September 2021
The 39th ASEAN Ministers on Energy Meeting (AMEM) was hosted virtually by Brunei Darussalam on 15 September 2021. Hon. Dato Seri Setia Dr Awang Haji Mat Suny bin Haji Md Hussein, Minister of Energy of Brunei Darussalam, chaired the Meeting. H.E. Suy Sem, Minister of Mines and Energy of Cambodia, was the Vice-Chair.
At the high-level meeting, the ASEAN Ministers on Energy reaffirmed the shared commitments and responsibilities of the ASEAN Member States to pursue energy security and energy transition. The Ministers articulated the huge financial, investment, and technical as well as cross-sectoral and cross-pillar support needed to deploy advanced, cleaner, and low-carbon energy in the region.
On 4 September 2019, the 37th AMEM welcomed the ASEAN Climate Change and Energy Project (ACCEPT) to contribute to a more climate-friendly development of the energy sector in ASEAN. This is recorded in the Joint Ministerial Statement (JMS) of the 37th AMEM, “The Ministers welcomed the ASEAN Climate Change and Energy Project (ACCEPT), the first energy cooperation project in collaboration with the Norwegian Government under the Norwegian-ASEAN Regional Integration Programme (NARIP), which aims to support ASEAN in improving the coherence between the ASEAN energy and climate policies and contribute to more climate-friendly development of the energy sector.”
Since then, the ASEAN Centre for Energy (ACE) through ACCEPT has supported the ASEAN Member States in the transition towards low carbon development in the region, by developing research studies and conducting events which serve as a platform to share information on energy-climate nexus. One of major ACCEPT contributions is the adoption of the new Outcome-Based Strategy (OBS) 6: “Promote Information Sharing on the Energy-Climate Nexus”, under the Programme Area 6: “Regional Energy Policy and Planning (REPP)”, in the ASEAN Plan of Action for Energy Cooperation (APAEC) Phase II: 2021 – 2025. It was noted in the JMS of the 38th AMEM on 20 November 2020, “The Ministers acknowledged the new outcome-based strategy on promoting information sharing on the energy-climate nexus by ACE with the support from ACCEPT under the Norwegian-ASEAN Regional Integration Programme (NARIP).”
This year, recognising various programmes and activities by ACCEPT to support the ASEAN Members States in the implementation of the APAEC, through its Joint Ministerial Statement, “The Meeting noted the continuation of the ASEAN Climate Change and Energy Project (ACCEPT) to support the promotion and information sharing on the energy-climate nexus.”
Although the activities on energy-climate nexus are set under the umbrella of the OBS 6 of the APAEC Programme Area 6 – Regional Energy Policy and Planning – ACCEPT activities supported almost all of APAEC programme areas.
Among various products by ACCEPT, two noble deliverables are the two reports which were acknowledged in the 39th AMEM. The Meeting noted ACE’s study on “Hydrogen in ASEAN: Economic Prospects, Development & Applications”, which was supported by ACCEPT. This report reviews the economics of hydrogen energy and its applications in the ASEAN Member States. Mainstream hydrogen production pathways are considered, including green hydrogen production from renewables, grey hydrogen production from natural gas and coal, as well as blue hydrogen produced from fossil fuels plus Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) technology.
In addition to the Hydrogen report, the Meeting also acknowledged the completion of the report “ASEAN CO2 Emission from Coal Fired Power Plants (CFPP): Baseline Study” to explore policy support and technology best practices for Clean Coal Technology (CCT) and Carbon Capture, Utilisation, and Storage (CCUS)”. Given the necessity to find ways to reduce the carbon footprint of the CFPPs in ASEAN, this study was carried out by ACE with support from ACCEPT, with the goal to evaluate the opportunities and challenges in setting baseline emission standards for the CFPPs in the ASEAN region.
Through its JMS, the Meeting commended the Ministry of Energy of Brunei Darussalam and ACE on the successful organisation of the virtual ASEAN Energy Business Forum (AEBF) 2021, including The 1st ASEAN International Conference on Energy and Environment (AICEE). The 1st AICEE, held on 15 September 2021, represented the triple helix collaboration between governments, private sector, and academician and research institute, and it was fully supported by ACCEPT.
Seeing the great contribution of ACCEPT throughout the years, the Ministers agreed to continue this project as the main proponent in the process of transitioning ASEAN towards a low carbon economy region. Moving forward, ACCEPT will continue to support the ASEAN Member States to improve the coherence between energy and climate policies, both at national and regional levels. The continuous support from the Government of Norway is crucial to making sure the momentum of addressing the energy transition in the region.