ERIA Attends G7 Ministers Meeting on Climate, Energy and Environment
Sapporo, 15-16 April 2023: A delegation of the Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA) headed by Prof Tetsuya Watanabe, Special Advisor to ERIA’s President, participated in the Group of Seven (G7) Ministers’ Meeting on Climate, Energy and Environment held on 15–16 April 2023 in Sapporo, Japan.
Co-chaired by Japan’s Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Nishimura Yasutoshi and Japan’s Minister of Environment Nishimura Akihiro, the meeting brought together representatives from G7 countries, guest countries from the global south, and international organisations. Discussions encompassed energy security, energy transition, climate change, biodiversity, marine plastic, and sustainability, amongst others.
Mr Watanabe stated the challenge of concurrently pursuing climate mitigation and achieving energy security in Asia, which is expected to experience massive growth in energy consumption and carbon dioxide emissions. Drawing on a cost optimisation analysis conducted by ERIA, aimed at achieving carbon neutrality across ASEAN by 2060, he outlined four key insights: the diversity of decarbonisation pathways and combinations of technologies specific to each country; the importance of fuel switching from coal power plants to efficient gas-fired plants; the phased introduction of transition technologies such as ammonia and hydrogen cofiring and adoption of carbon capture, utilisation, and storage for early, partial, and deep decarbonisation; and the need for proper finance for transition technologies. He said these perspectives were widely shared at the 1st Asian Zero Emissions Community (AZEC) Ministerial Meeting in March 2023, and that ERIA will make a strong contribution to AZEC aiming at a clean, sustainable, just, affordable, and inclusive energy transition towards carbon neutrality in Asia.
Mr Watanabe emphasised the pivotal role of Asia in the global energy transition, and expressed hope that G7 would convey messages striking a balance between pragmatism and ambition so that Asian countries could be on the same page.