Private sectors have shared their perspectives on the development of the ASEAN Strategy for Carbon Neutrality at the recent 9th ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) Dialogue in Jakarta, Indonesia.
The ASEAN Secretariat organized the dialogue, which saw the participation of over 200 attendees, including corporate leaders from diverse sectors such as food and beverage, cement, logistics, shipping, agriculture, carbon offset project developers, textiles, independent power producers, banks, and infrastructure financing institutions, both in person and virtually.
Its breakout sessions focused on such key issues as green infrastructure, integration of decarbonized value chains, and circularity in regional trade; green skill development and mobility, and interoperable carbon markets, among many others. The inputs gathered from the dialogue will be incorporated into the study for ASEAN Strategy for Carbon Neutrality, one of the bloc’s priorities under Indonesia’s chairmanship this year.
ASEAN houses one of the world’s largest natural carbon sinks, accounting for 36% of global cost-effective nature-based solutions potential, said Deputy Secretary-General of ASEAN for AEC Satvinder Singh.
This places the region in a unique position, as ASEAN’s abundance of resources, particularly critical minerals, are critical in energy transition and digital transformation.
He also highlighted the need for ASEAN to take a collective approach that will accelerate the region’s transition towards low-carbon economy and called upon the business communities to take part in the transition by integrating sustainability into current business models, adopting cleaner technologies, promoting energy efficiency, and investing in renewable energy.
“Right now, we are in the process of finalizing our ASEAN carbon neutrality plan, which we are ready for endorsement this year at the leaders’ summit in September. This plan is going to be a critical regional plan that is going to complement the ASEAN member states’ individual NDP [national development plan] plans that they have in their decarbonization commitments for the Paris Agreement,” said Singh.
Ambassador of the Australian Mission to ASEAN Will Nankervis emphasized the importance of the ASEAN Strategy on Carbon Neutrality and affirmed Australia’s ongoing support for the regional efforts to realize a carbon-neutral future.