Jakarta (ANTARA) - Indonesia's chairmanship of ASEAN has encouraged the acceleration of the green energy transition, Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister Pahala Nugraha Mansury has said.

"Sustainable development is the key to future prosperity. Therefore, for our chairmanship of the ASEAN this year, Indonesia has pushed for sustainable and collaborative efforts to accelerate the green energy transition with three priorities," he highlighted at the 2023 ASEAN Indo-Pacific Forum (AIPF) on Wednesday.

The AIPF was held as part of the agenda of the 43rd ASEAN Summit in Jakarta, which is being held from September 5 to 7, 2023. The summit is being attended by 19 state leaders, including those from friendly countries, as well as representatives of international organizations.

Mansury said the three priorities to accelerate the green energy transition comprise investing in and developing the green economy, utilizing the potential of the blue economy, and accelerating the digital transformation.

Investment in and development of the green economy require significant technological and financial support, he added. This development will be supported by many initiatives for sustainable and innovative financing.

According to him, the ASEAN region is home to more than 80 environmentally friendly initiatives worth US$34 billion, including the ASEAN Power Grid initiative and the ASEAN Catalytic Green Finance Facility.

"From all these initiatives, we must ensure that green technology will be adapted as a public good. With AIPF, I hope we can collaborate with the private sector and ensure investment for the development of affordable green technology," Mansury said.

Regarding the enormous potential of the blue economy, he highlighted that more than 66 percent of the total area of Southeast Asia is covered by seas and oceans. ASEAN is also home to 15 percent of the world's fisheries. It has been estimated that the blue economy could generate between US$3 trillion to US$6 trillion and around 260 million jobs per year.

To unlock the potential of the blue economy, last year, Indonesia successfully launched the "Blue Halo Ocean" program targeting a mix of US$300 million in funding to ensure economic growth is in line with marine conservation, he informed.

According to Mansury, ASEAN's digital economy is expected to reach US$1 trillion by 2030. This year, ASEAN leaders also supported the Digital Economy Framework Agreement (DEFA).

He pointed out that DEFA implementation will multiply the potential of the region's digital economy to around US$2 trillion by 2030, supported by artificial intelligence transformation, blockchain, and connectivity in digital payment systems, especially the QRIS system.

"All of us here are important stakeholders in ASEAN's efforts to realize a low-carbon economy. Our collaboration must focus on building a common future based on collaboration," he stressed.

Therefore, Indonesia remains firmly committed to ensuring the full implementation of the many agreed initiatives and cooperation, he said.

According to a Bloomberg report, global investment in the low-carbon energy transition reached more than US$1.1 trillion by 2022, setting a new milestone in the sector.

Total renewable energy capacity was 3,372 gigawatts (GW) at the end of last year with new capacity additions mostly coming from wind and solar power. Most of the additions came from Asia.

The number of jobs in the renewable energy sector worldwide reached 12.7 million, a jump of around 700 thousand new jobs in a year.

According to Mansury, renewable energy will be the fuel of the future, not just as a commodity, but as a driver of economic growth.

In addition, there is a global trend toward a low-carbon economic transition and ASEAN wants to be at the center of this transition.

Given ASEAN's gross domestic product (GDP) of close to US$3.7 trillion and population of more than 670 million, Indonesia's chairmanship of ASEAN wants to ensure that the region can become the epicenter of this growth.

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Translator: Martha Herlinawati S, Resinta S
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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