In this webinar, Mr Beni Suryadi from the ASEAN Climate Change and Energy Project (ACCEPT) at the ASEAN Centre for Energy (ACE), Mr Mahawira Dillon from Yayasan Indonesia Cerah and Mr David Fogarty from The Straits Times participated as discussants at the launch event of the Southeast Asia Climate Outlook Survey 2021 Report, discussing key findings and sharing their expertise on climate-related trends in the region. The Survey and this event were supported by the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung.
CLIMATE CHANGE IN SOUTHEAST ASIA PROGRAMME WEBINAR
Thursday, 16 September 2021 – Mr Beni Suryadi, Project Manager at ACCEPT, ACE, Mr Mahawira Dillon, Senior Policy Researcher at energy-focused non-profit Yayasan Indonesia Cerah and Mr David Fogarty, Climate Change Editor at The Straits Times, Singapore, discussed the views of Southeast Asians on climate change issues such as the energy transition, urban mitigation and adaptation and international climate cooperation; as revealed by the Survey, conducted by the Climate Change in Southeast Asia Programme (CCSEAP) at ISEAS. The results were presented by Ms Melinda Martinus, Lead Researcher for Socio-Cultural Studies at the ASEAN Studies Centre (ASC), ISEAS and Ms Sharon Seah, Senior Fellow and Coordinator of ASC and CCSEAP. Ms Seah also moderated the session.
Ms Martinus began by explaining the methodology and the respondents’ profile. The Survey was disseminated and conducted online, gathering a total of 610 respondents from all ten ASEAN countries. Ms Seah then highlighted key results from the Survey, with inputs from the three discussants.
Speaking on energy transition issues, the discussants reacted positively to the finding that most ASEAN respondents are in favour of reducing reliance on coal power and investing in renewable energy. Mr Suryadi pointed out that the ASEAN region has tremendous potential for renewables. Vietnam respondents are also particularly optimistic about ASEAN achieving its target share of 23% renewables by 2025. This may reflect the rapid progress of solar deployment in Vietnam, which installed 10 GW of solar power plants in 2020 alone. He commented that this is a lesson for other ASEAN governments: raising ambition and delivering on renewable energy can lead to greater support and confidence from the public.
Ms Martinus expressed surprise that respondents place heavy emphasis on renewable energy adoption in cities, given that energy provision in Southeast Asia is usually under remit of the state. Mr Dillon commented that rooftop solar production has become more accessible in the last five years, which may have empowered urban residents to get themselves and their local governments involved in climate mitigation. Mr Fogarty added that there may be an additional consideration of air quality. Anti-coal sentiment, which has gained traction due to widespread pollution, could have shifted public opinion towards renewables.
Noting that a significant portion of respondents did not consider any country a global climate leader, Mr Suryadi suggested that Norway, which was not included in the Survey, had a strong but little-known partnership with ASEAN on energy transitions. He stressed that developed countries have an obligation to support developing countries, including ASEAN, on climate action. Mr Dillon agreed, adding that developed countries have not contributed their fair share to global climate action – for instance, their pledge to provide US$100 billion in climate finance to developing countries annually by 2020 has not been met.
During the Q&A session, the panel addressed questions relating to the profile of Survey respondents, as well as upcoming developments in ASEAN climate cooperation. The webinar drew about a hundred attendees.
Download the latest Southeast Asia Climate Outlook Survey Report here.
View the webinar here.