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ERIA Takes Part in G20 Ministerial Meeting on Energy Transitions and Global Environment for Sustainable Growth

17 June 2019

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Karuizawa, 15-16 June 2019: A delegation from the Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA), headed by the President, Prof Hidetoshi Nishimura, participated in the G20 Ministerial Meeting on Energy Transitions and Global Environment for Sustainable Growth on 15 and 16 June 2019 in Karuizawa, Japan.

Prof Nishimura and the ERIA delegation attended all of the sessions in the meeting: Joint Session, Environment session, and Energy session.

Prof Nishimura delivered a presentation during the Joint session, in which he talked about ‘Energy and Climate Challenges in the ASEAN Region—Role of Fossil Fuel, Hydrogen, and Electric Vehicles’. President Nishimura presented energy security and climate challenges in the ASEAN region focusing on fossil fuels, hydrogen, and electric vehicles (EVs). Due to the fact that fossil fuels, in particular coal, will play a dominant role in the regional energy mix in the coming decades, Prof Nishimura stressed the importance of the penetration of high-efficiency low-emission technology and ultimately carbon capture and storage (CCS)/Carbon Capture, Utilisation, and Storage (CCUS) for the low carbon future. He underlined the bigger role of natural gas as a transitional fuel and emphasised the need for competitive and transparent LNG markets, overcoming financial constraints, and enabling the policy environment. Due to its zero emissions, unlimited supply, storability, and transportability, hydrogen could contribute to low carbon future in the region. To make this happen, massive cost reduction is absolutely necessary. Prof Nishimura also presented the role of EVs for reducing environmental damage and oil import dependence in the region. Power generation mix is the key for reducing CO2 emissions. Lastly, he also emphasised careful consideration of fiscal burden in supporting introduction of EVs.

During the Environment Session 1 with the theme ‘Resource Efficiency and Marine Plastic Litter’, Prof Nishimura delivered a presentation on ‘How to Cope with Marine Plastic Litter in ASEAN and East Asia’. He stated that ASEAN and East Asia have begun to issue several statements and action plans for addressing this issue at regional as well as national levels. He underlined the importance of (i) Promoting knowledge-sharing and good practices, both regionally and globally; (ii) Developing policy coordination mechanisms at the national and international levels; and (iii) Encouraging the development of scientific knowledge and international cooperation. Moreover, Prof Nishimura conveyed ERIA’s determination to contribute as the Regional Knowledge Centre of ASEAN+3 region. During the session, H.E. Yoshiaki Harada, the Minister of the Environment of Japan discussed working with ERIA to establish a Regional Knowledge Centre of marine plastic litter at ERIA as one of the deliverables of the G20 Presidency.

On the sidelines of the Ministerial Meeting, Prof Nishimura held discussion with several ministers: H.E. Siti Nurbaya, Minister of Environment and Forestry of Indonesia; H.E. Ignasius Jonan, Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources of Indonesia; H.E. Danny Ray Brouillette, Deputy Secretary of the Department of Energy of the United States; and H.E. Le Cong Thanh, Deputy Minister of Natural Resources and Environment.

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