Jakarta (ANTARA) - The 2023 ASEAN Climate Forum is seeking to support ASEAN's efforts to become an environmentally friendly economic region, said Indonesian Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs, Airlangga Hartarto, on Saturday.

"The ASEAN Climate Forum highlights the importance of a sustainable development agenda to facilitate ASEAN's transformation toward an environmentally friendly economy, in line with ASEAN's vision for 2045," he said at the 2023 ASEAN Climate Forum in Jakarta, a side event of the upcoming 43rd ASEAN Summit.

The forum is expected to focus on strategic ideas and comprehensive thinking regarding emissions reduction, affordable energy transition, decarbonization strategies, and sustainable financing, he added.

According to Hartarto, the Southeast Asian region will be affected by climate change and could potentially lose around 30 percent of its gross domestic product (GDP) by 2050 due to increasing global temperatures and extreme weather events.

Therefore, greenhouse gas emissions in Southeast Asia need to be reduced by 10 to 25 percent by 2030 to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees. To achieve this, joint cooperation by the government and the business sector is needed now, he stressed.

Currently, parts of the ASEAN region have committed to a zero-emission target. The use of electric transport and renewable energy will also be critical for the region to meet its decarbonization commitments, he said.

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ASEAN countries have agreed to develop an electric vehicle ecosystem and become an important part of the world's supply chain, with their industry playing a significant role in this plan, he added.

In addition, the development of electric vehicles can play a major role in environmental sustainability, starting from reducing greenhouse emissions, accelerating the energy transition, decarbonizing the land transportation sector to achieve the zero emissions target, and increasing energy security in the ASEAN region.

He said that a shift to electric vehicles is important not only in ASEAN but also at the global level due to its advantages in energy diversification and emission reduction.

"The adoption of electric vehicles can play an essential role in the decarbonization agenda to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement," Hartarto stated.

The ASEAN Summit has also agreed to explore cooperation and collaboration in the development of the electric vehicle ecosystem, he added.

He said that the cooperation includes improving infrastructure and charging stations, creating a business environment and investment climate to attract investment, and encouraging public-private partnerships.

This would need to be followed by optimizing production and the sustainable use of materials and resources to achieve higher value from the region's electric vehicle supply chain and increase the participation of micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs), he added.

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Translator: Martha Herlinawati S, Resinta S
Editor: Anton Santoso
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