The annual ASEAN Ministers on Energy Meeting (AMEM) held its 38th session on Thursday and yesterday virtually with the theme of ‘Energy transition towards Sustainable Development’.
The opening ceremony, held jointly with the launch of the ASEAN Energy Business Forum (AEBF), was officiated by Vice Minister of Ministry of Industry and Trade of Vietnam Dang Hoang An on Thursday. The vice minister stressed that regional cooperation during the pandemic has been a testament to ASEAN solidarity, adaptability and responsiveness during the opening. Maintaining connectivity and linkages between member states must be reinforced for sustainable development of the region.
Dr Dang Hoang An assumed the role of Chairman of the 38th AMEM, with Minister of Energy Dato Seri Setia Dr Awang Haji Mat Suny bin Haji Mohd Hussein as Vice-Chairman.
Associated ministerial meetings conducted alongside the 38th AMEM over the two days included the ASEAN Ministers on Energy Meeting (AMEM) – International Energy Agency (IEA) dialogue, 17th ASEAN Ministers on Energy Meeting Plus Three (AMEM+3), the 14th East Asia Summit Energy Ministers Meeting (EAS EMM) and the ASEAN Ministers on Energy Dialogue with the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).
The 38th AMEM discussed the progress of activities implemented under the ASEAN Plan of Action for Energy Cooperation (APAEC) Phase I 2015-2020. Among the progress updates were the regional expansion of Regasification Terminal capacity to more than double to 38.75 MTPA since 2016. ASEAN is also projected to achieve 24.9 per cent energy intensity reduction based on 2005 levels.
The 38th AMEM also endorsed the second phase of the APAEC for the years 2021 – 2025, carrying the theme ‘Enhancing Energy Connectivity and Market Integration in ASEAN to Achieve Energy Security, Accessibility, Affordability and Sustainability for All’ and sub-theme of, ‘Accelerating Energy Transition and Strengthening Energy Resilience through Greater Innovation and Cooperation’. Under this new plan of action, ASEAN member states set targets to reduce energy intensity by 32 per cent in 2025 based on 2005 levels, and increasing the component of renewable energy (RE) to 23 per cent in the ASEAN energy mix, including through increasing the share of RE in installed power capacity to 35 per cent by 2025. Among other strategies contained within the APAEC Phase II are expanding ASEAN multilateral power trade; enhancing regional liquefied natural gas (LNG) connectivity and accessibility; and advance regional energy policy and planning to accelerate ASEAN’s energy transition and resilience.
The ministerial meetings adopted three joint ministerial statements namely the Joint Ministerial Statement on the 38th ASEAN Ministers on Energy Meeting; the 14th East Asia Summit Energy Ministers’ Meeting; and the 17th ASEAN Ministers’ on Energy Meeting Plus Three.
The statements urged for enhanced cooperation in the post-COVID-19 pandemic recovery, especially in ensuring that the region’s energy sector enhances its adaptability, resilience and sustainability in the face of future uncertainties.
Deputy Permanent Secretary (Energy and Power) at the Ministry of Energy Pengiran Jamra Weira bin Pengiran Haji Petra as Senior Official on Energy (SOE) Leader for Brunei Darussalam, and officers from the Ministry of Energy, Department of Electrical Services and Petroleum Authority of Brunei Darussalam also attended.
The ASEAN Energy Business Forum (AEBF) was held in parallel with the 38th AMEM and its associated meetings from November 18 to yesterday. Dato Seri Setia Dr Awang Haji Mat Suny delivered a keynote address in conjunction with the welcoming session of the forum, address the theme of ‘Responsive and Cohesive Energy Pathways for ASEAN’. The minister highlighted the need for regional energy sectors to enhance adaptability and resilience. To balance development and sustainability, Brunei Darussalam supports clean energy transition in contributing to national and regional energy sector recovery, while being ready to support the regional natural gas deployment as one of the cleanest fossil fuels to ensure energy access, reliability and affordability. Technology and innovation will be key to clean initiatives, optimising energy efficiency and driving a sustainable energy sector.
The AEBF is annually participated by government officials and private sector representatives, including major energy companies from ASEAN member states and dialogue partners, for exchanging the latest regional energy investment opportunities and gain first-hand insights into the policy initiatives and regulatory environments.