Jakarta (ANTARA) - Indonesia is encouraging collaboration, partnerships, sustainable and inclusive financing, and access to appropriate technologies for accelerating the energy transition, especially in the Southeast Asian region.

Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Arifin Tasrif conveyed the statement while opening the 41st ASEAN Senior Officials Meeting on Energy (41st ASEAN SOME) at the ASEAN Secretariat in Jakarta on Monday.

"The global energy landscape is urged to sustainably transition from a fossil-based economy to a low-carbon economy in an inclusive and equitable manner while considering national circumstances, capabilities, and priorities," Tasrif said, according to a press release issued the same day.

Collaboration needs to be strengthened not only among ASEAN member countries, but also with international organizations and stakeholders, he stressed.

Meanwhile, energy security is as important as the energy transition.

During its 2023 ASEAN chairmanship, Indonesia is spotlighting the importance of sustainable energy security, which is being implemented through ASEAN interconnectivity as the epicentrum of growth.

During Monday’s meeting, Tasrif said that the Trans-ASEAN Gas Pipeline (TAGP) and the ASEAN power grid will accelerate the clean energy transition and improve energy security.

Critical minerals are also needed to support the energy transition, he added.

Critical raw materials can be used for technological innovations based on clean and renewable energy, he said.

The global demand for critical minerals has increased significantly.

According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), electric cars require six times more mineral inputs than conventional cars.

Wind power plants require 13 times more mineral resources than gas-fired power plants of a similar size.

"Several ASEAN countries, such as Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, and Vietnam, are blessed with large amounts of mineral resources, including nickel, tin, bauxite, and rare earth metals so that ASEAN can play a big role in the global critical mineral supply chain," Tasrif said.

According to the minister, it is necessary to develop mineral processing, refining, and manufacturing units, especially for clean energy technological industries.

He said Malaysia, Vietnam, Thailand, and Indonesia are key players in the renewable energy manufacturing industry, such as solar photovoltaic (PV) batteries and electric vehicles (EV).

"The 2023 ASEAN Summit has agreed on the use of electric vehicles to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and decarbonize the land transportation sector in the region to achieve net-zero emissions (NZE)," he said.

ASEAN member countries are committed to developing a regional electric vehicle ecosystem by involving all member countries, improving the EV industry, and making ASEAN a global production hub, he added.

According to the ministry, ASEAN countries have a great abundance of renewable energy potential that is predicted to reach 17 thousand gigawatts and could be used for realizing the clean energy and NZE targets.

Furthermore, the minister said that technology is key for transitioning to carbon-neutral energy so it is necessary to increase technological diversity.

Likewise, access to and use of technology need to be made more inclusive, and access to affordable technology and financing must be explored more broadly.

"ASEAN member states must improve their technology, ability, capacity, and skills to support the energy transition target, and also the goals of the ASEAN Plan of Action of Energy Cooperation (APAEC)," he said.

The APAEC aims to encourage renewable energy transition to realize the NZE.

The short-term target of the action plan is realizing a total of 23 percent of the renewable energy mix in the total primary energy supply as well as 35 percent of renewable energy in power plant capacity in ASEAN member countries by 2025.

Meanwhile, the medium-term target of the action plan is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in all ASEAN countries according to their respective nationally determined contributions by 2030, while the long-term target is realizing the NZE target by 2050, he noted.

He lauded all ASEAN countries that have committed to achieving the NZE goal in the next few years. Their commitment has become the foundation of the global NZE road map.

"The road map is an important tool to analyze and allocate the support needed for each country, such as technology, financing, infrastructure, and others," he said.

He further said he hopes that through the 41st ASEAN SOME, countries in the grouping can further discuss and resolve the latest strategic issues, such as carbon trading and the decarbonization of the oil and gas industry.

One of the decarbonization efforts has been carried out through the development of carbon capture storage/carbon capture utilization and storage (CCS / CCUS) technology.

"This will accelerate the green energy mix for ensuring long-term energy security in the region to achieve the NZE target," he said.

He also stressed that ASEAN needs to realize its commitment to achieving the 2030 nationally determined contributions (NDC) target in accordance with the greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction targets in each country.

Then, in addition to thanking all ASEAN member countries, dialogue partners, and international organizations at the senior-level meeting, Tasrif welcomed Timor Leste as the youngest member of ASEAN.

He welcomed Timor Leste at the 41st ASEAN SOME to observe the progress and implementation of energy cooperation in ASEAN.

"ASEAN is expected to involve Timor Leste more in future meetings and activities," he said.

The 41st ASEAN SOME is being held from June 19–23, 2023 in Jakarta. It is being attended by 10 ASEAN members, eight dialogue partners, and some international organizations that support energy cooperation.

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Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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