First Ministerial Meeting of Asia Zero Emission Community Issues Joint Statement on Energy Transition in Asia
Tokyo, 4 March 2023: Energy ministers from 11 countries, and representatives from several international organisations gathered in Tokyo, Japan, for the first Ministerial Meeting of the Asia Zero Emission Community (AZEC) on 4 March 2023. The group issued a joint statement synthesising their common challenges, objectives, views, and possible areas of work in accelerating the energy transition in Asia as the key to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement. Signatories to the statement included Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Japan, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Viet Nam, the Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA), the International Energy Agency, the International Renewable Energy Agency, and the ASEAN Center for Energy.
At the roundtable meeting of the ministers and the heads of the supporting organisations, Prof Hidetoshi Nishimura, President of ERIA, briefly introduced the research institute’s study on the cost-optimisation analysis for achieving ASEAN-wide carbon neutrality by 2060. He said the analysis and realistic assumptions were made with regard to renewable energy potential and carbon storage capacity as well as cost reduction of various technologies, including solar photovoltaic; onshore and offshore wind power; hydropower; geothermal energy; biomass energy; nuclear energy; carbon capture, utilisation, and storage (CCUS); hydrogen and ammonia co-firing; direct air carbon capture and storage; and bioenergy with carbon capture and storage.
Prof Nishimura conveyed five key policy messages based on ERIA’s studies: the need for the ASEAN region to introduce transition technologies; the importance of fuel switching from coal power plants to efficient gas-fired plants supported by timely investment in LNG supply chain from upstream to downstream; the need for the region to deploy a wide range of technologies, including co-firing with ammonia and hydrogen and CCUS for reducing carbon footprint from the use of fossil fuels; the crucial role of a proper finance for transition technologies; and the importance of recognising countries’ diverse decarbonisation pathways and technology combinations.