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Imperatives of Greener ASEAN Economies Discussed at ERIA-ADB SEADS Symposium

30 March 2023

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Bali, 30 March 2023: Several policymakers and representatives from the business sector and international and non-profit organisations gathered in Bali, Indonesia, on 30 March 2023 to discuss the imperatives of greener economies across ASEAN. The event—Imagining a Net Zero ASEAN—was jointly organised by the Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA) and the Asian Development Bank Southeast Asia Development Solution.

ADB President Masatsugu Asakawa opened the symposium and was followed by Indonesian Minister of Finance Sri Mulyani Indrawati. The minister emphasised how Indonesia, the largest country in South-east Asia, plays a key role in net-zero transformation given the size of its economy. Reporting on the budget allocations being designed by the Indonesian government, she underscored the private sector's pivotal role in investments and practical actions to speed up the green transition.

Ms Amina Mohammed, Deputy Secretary General of the United Nations (UN) and Mr Amitabh Kant, India’s Group of Twenty (G20) Sherpa, spoke about strategic directions being discussed at the UN and G20.

The session on Jobs of the Future: Building Diversity into the Net Zero Transition  opened with a speech by Ms Lenny Rosalin, Deputy Minister for Gender Equality of Indonesia’s Ministry of Women’s Empowerment and Child Protection.

Dr Giulia Ajmone Marsan, ERIA Director for Strategy and Partnership, commented that sustainability and inclusion are inter-linked and two sides of the same coin in the net-zero transition. She warned that without inclusion, large pockets of resistance could emerge as a result of certain groups’ fear of losing jobs and worsening economic conditions, putting pressure on governments to slow down or even stop initiatives to make economies greener.  She described how skills are a key channel of empowerment and listed the skills necessary for the future of ASEAN economies and societies, such as team-working, creativity, adaptability, and, generally, the ability to learn how to learn.

The other panellists in the session were Mr Shaheen Chughtai, Regional Advocacy and Campaigns Director-Asia, Save the Children; Mr Prateek Hegde, Chief Operating Officer, Asia–Pacific, Generation.org; Ms Marija Ralic, Lead, Google.org Asia–Pacific; and Ms Dini Indrawati Septiani, Country Director, Indonesia, Asian Venture Philanthropy Network. Ms Adisti Sukma Sawitri, Managing Editor of Jakarta Post, moderated the event. Ms Veronica Joffre, ADB’s Senior Gender and Social Development Specialist, acted as the master of ceremony.

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