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ERIA President Speaks at Nikkei Asia's Future of Asia Forum in Tokyo

24 May 2024

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Tokyo, 24 May 2024: ERIA President Tetsuya Watanabe spoke at the prestigious Nikkei Asia's Future of Asia Forum in Tokyo, Japan. The forum is renowned for bringing together key stakeholders to discuss a wide range of issues impacting the region.

President Watanabe participated in a panel session on energy transition, addressing the broader question, ‘Can ASEAN achieve net-zero?’ The session was moderated by Kiyoshi Ando, Senior Staff Writer at Nikkei Inc. Joining President Watanabe on the panel were H.E. Dr Chea Serey, Governor of the National Bank of Cambodia, and H.E. Arifin Tasrif, Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources of Indonesia.

In his intervention, President Watanabe highlighted the different realities between ASEAN and developed countries in Europe and the United States. He emphasised that ASEAN, as a global growth engine with a rising middle class, requires a unique strategy for achieving net-zero emissions. He stressed the importance of balancing energy security with the transition to renewable energy. President Watanabe underscored the crucial role of Japan–ASEAN collaboration, particularly given Japan's advanced technologies in ammonia, hydrogen, biofuel, and carbon capture, utilisation, and storage (CCUS). He also announced that the Asia Zero Emission Centre, which will be hosted by ERIA, will be launched this summer.

Dr Chea Serey emphasised the collective responsibility to address climate change and noted the central bank's significant role. She pointed out the existing gap in transition finance that needs to be bridged. Minister Arifin Tasrif shared Indonesia's commitment to reducing emissions through its Enhanced National Determined Contribution (ENDC). He detailed Indonesia's roadmap for developing clean energy, reducing carbon emissions, phasing out coal powerplant, increasing electrification, improving energy efficiency, and advancing CCS and CCUS technologies. Minister Tasrif called for strengthened cooperation amongst developed, developing, and least-developed countries to ensure no one is left behind in the transition to a sustainable future.

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