The global focus of obtaining affordable and clean energy is also echoed in the ASEAN region. The region is trying to get away from its reliance on fossil fuels and joining the global bandwagon to address the environmental and climate concern on providing energy using the cleaner resource. On the other hand, ASEAN needs to keep affordability as a forefront focus while seeking the greener energy option. As the Affordable and clean energy is a focus in SDGs no. 7 is also pushed by ASEAN countries, despite diverse meaning it has within the ASEAN Member States.
The effort of bringing affordable and clean energy to the people is vital to create a resilient economy so that the region could resist a particular shock and avoid being spiralled under crisis. Taking the lesson-learned from the previous financial crisis in ASEAN and the impact of the current COVID-19 pandemic, having affordable and clean energy which reach all layers of ASEAN communities, especially the most vulnerable one – which live in remote or in disaster-risk areas – enables the region to have quicker economic rebound and re-growth. That is why the diverse concept of ‘affordable and clean’ is rooted from various economic capabilities, geographical conditions, and resource capacities that exist within the region are important.
The goals on affordable and clean energy in ASEAN are also guided under its regional blueprint on energy cooperation, entitled the ASEAN Plan of Action for Energy Cooperation (APAEC) 2016-2025. In the document that was endorsed at the 33rd ASEAN Ministers on Energy Meeting (AMEM) in 2015, the region set four goals: achieving energy security, accessibility, affordability, and sustainability for all. ASEAN also no longer needs to choose between affordable OR clean, since providing affordable AND clean energy is urgent and now become feasible.