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ERIA Supports First Asia Zero Emission Community (AZEC) Senior Official Meeting (ASOM)

24 June 2023

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Jakarta, 24 June 2023: The Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA) supported the first Asia Zero Emission Community (AZEC) Senior Official Meeting (ASOM), held at the Mulia Hotel Jakarta, Indonesia. The meeting was attended by ASOM members from Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Japan, Lao PDR, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Viet Nam, as well as representatives from international organizations such as the ASEAN Centre for Energy (ACE) and ERIA, private companies such as PETRONAS Malaysia and research and development agency NEDO Indonesia.

Opening remarks were made by Ryo Minami, Deputy Commissioner for International Affairs and Director General for International Policy on Carbon Neutrality, the Agency for Natural Resources and Energy (ANRE) at Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI). He spoke of the three concepts of the AZEC Joint Statement: decarbonization and energy security, decarbonization for realizing economic growth in Asia, and one goal but various pathways to achieving it.

'The common goal we should aim for is carbon neutrality, but the pathways toward the goal should be diverse and practical, according to the actual economic and energy structures of each country', he said.

Arifin Tasrif, Indonesia's Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources, expressed his appreciation for the initiative, which is a resounding testament of Indonesia’s determination toward net-zero, which is a common problem in the region. He reiterated the 1st AZEC Ministerial Meeting consensus, to act on: promoting energy efficiency and energy conversion technologies; enhancing the deployment of renewable energy and energy management technologies; enhancing the upstream development of natural gas and LNG; developing carbon capture, usage and storage (CCUS) and carbon recycling in the industrial sector; developing hydrogen and ammonia to help the industrial sector; and developing a sustainable global supply chain of rare earth materials. The Minister said he hoped the AZEC forum would unlock international cooperation in supporting these targets, through sustainable financing, joint ventures, and knowledge transfers between AZEC partner countries.

In his opening remarks Professor Tetsuya Watanabe, special advisor to ERIA’s outgoing President Professor Hidetoshi Nishimura, and the next President of ERIA, stressed the organization's commitment and contributions to the Asia Energy Transition Initiative by emphasizing the need for regional cooperation of knowledge sharing and best practices in such fields as policy strategy formulation, development, demonstration, the deployment of decarbonization technologies, and appropriate finance for transition technologies. This aligns with the AZEC concept aimed at a clean, sustainable, just, affordable, and inclusive energy transition toward carbon neutrality/net-zero emissions in the Asian region.

Professor Jun Arima, ERIA Senior Policy Fellow for Energy and Environment, spoke on a number of energy transition matters, including transition technology and finance challenges in ASEAN and East Asia, and ERIA’s participation in global discussions such as the G7 Climate Energy and Environment Ministers Meeting, the G20 Energy Transition Working Group, and the Asia Transition Finance Study group (ATF-SG).

Izuru Kobayashi, Deputy Commissioner for International Affairs, ANRE at METI, spoke of Japan’s support and policy coordination, including the AZEC activities agenda for 2023, the next AZEC Ministerial Meeting 2024 in Tokyo, and financial and technical support by the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC), NEXI – Nippon Export and Investment Insurance, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), NEDO, and the Japan Organization for Metals and Energy Security (JOGMEC).

Under AZEC, three initiative research projects cover the formulation of a master plan for hydrogen and ammonia, the introduction and utilization of carbon capture and storage (CCS), and the acceleration of utilizing the Bilateral Crediting Mechanism (JCM) in the Asian Region+.

As AZEC will enhance such regional cooperation, ERIA will continuously support this initiative and intends to make a substantial contribution through related research and activities.

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