Coalition of Asian Energy Think Tanks Joint Statement Uniting for Asia’s Renewable Energy FutureMessage to the Asia Zero Emission Community Summit

8 December 2023

in Japanese

Renewable Energy Institute, along with five Asian energy policy think tanks, issued a joint statement today in anticipation of the Asia Zero Emissions Community (AZEC) Summit, which will be held in Tokyo on December 18.

The joint declaration affirms our well-founded conviction in Asia's renewable energy resources' enormous potential to power future high economic growth in the region and declares a joint commitment to accelerate the energy transition.

As part of its Green Transformation (GX) strategy, the Kishida administration in Japan is actively promoting the Asia Zero Emission Community (AZEC) initiative. This initiative seems to undervalue the renewable energy potential underscoring the need for fossil fuels in the rapidly growing Asian region. Its promotion of coal-ammonia co-firing and Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS)-equipped thermal power will likely lock-in Asian countries' dependence on fossil fuels.

Renewable Energy Institute will collaborate with Asian think tanks to identify viable pathways for energy transition in the region and demonstrate that accelerating renewable energy development is a decarbonization strategy that is compatible with growth and offers significant business opportunities in the region.

Related event (media briefing, 13 December 2023)

Coalition of Asian Energy Think Tanks Joint Statement

In 2023, Southeast Asian nations experienced record-breaking temperatures, severe cyclones and devastating floods, underlining the urgency of the climate crisis that we face as a region. While a transition to a sustainable energy system is needed, Southeast Asia faces a unique challenge due to its robust economic growth and a projected three to sixfold increase in electricity demand by 20501. Now is our window of opportunity to make decisions that will impact the current and next generations as we shift away from the fossil fuel-based systems of the past.

Studies from the IEA and IRENA confirm that Southeast Asia possesses abundant, proven, and cost-effective renewable energy potential2. Harnessing this potential can not only substantially reduce CO2 emissions but also combat air pollution, stabilize energy prices, enhance domestic energy self-sufficiency, and boost employment opportunities.

What is needed now is a shared vision for Asia's renewable energy future, followed by the transformation of energy policies and power systems within each nation.

Despite the vast renewable potential, some governments and companies are advocating for unproven technologies that maintain reliance on fossil fuels, such as ammonia co-firing with coal and thermal power generation with CCS, as paths to decarbonization3. While these technologies are called “clean” or “innovative”, they raise concerns over whether the planet can achieve the Paris Agreement's 1.5℃ target, and many experts have serious doubts over cost-effectiveness, technological readiness, environmental impact, and lifecycle emissions4. The implementation of these high-cost, unproven technologies could in fact adversely affect the sustainability of power systems, climate goals, and energy security.

As a coalition of policy think-tanks in our respective countries, we are united by our well-founded conviction in the immense potential of renewables and their pivotal role in shaping the future. The proliferation of misleading information about the weak potential of renewable energy in the region, often originating from those advocating for fossil pathway solutions, only serves to divide and weaken the sustainable economic potential of the region.

As Tokyo plays host to the Asia Zero Emission Community Summit, we are proud to announce a coalition of energy transition think-tanks working on sustainable energy policy development across Asia. Together, we are committed to providing fact-based, data-driven information and analysis advocating for the region's energy transition, paving the way for a sustainable future.

Signed by:

Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD)
Financial Futures Center (FFC)
Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (ICSC)
Institute for Essential Services Reform (IESR)
NEXT group
Renewable Energy Institute
(in alphabetical order)

  • 1International Energy Agency "World Energy Outlook 2022” October 2022; International Renewable Energy Agency "ASEAN Renewable Energy Outlook: Toward a Regional Energy Transformation, 2nd Edition " September 2022; and Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia & Institute of Energy Economics, Japan, Decarbonization of ASEAN Energy Systems: Optimum Technology Selection Model Analysis up to 2060 (July 2022).
  • 2International Energy Agency "World Energy Outlook 2022” October 2022; International Renewable Energy Agency "ASEAN Renewable Energy Outlook: Toward a Regional Energy Transformation, 2nd Edition " September 2022 among other publications, which state that 80-90% of the region's power supply in 2050 will come from renewables.
  • 3Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, Subcommittee on Petroleum and Natural Gas, Subcommittee on Natural Resources and Fuels (13th meeting), Document 3: "Direction of Oil and Natural Gas Policies for the Years 2030/2050 (Draft)" (February 15, 2021), etc.
  • 4Japan’s Strategic Energy Plan plans to co-fire 20% of ammonia in the 2030s, but this will still emit twice the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions of natural gas-fired plants. On CCS, only two small-scale plants have been realized in the world during the last 40 years (Global CCS Institute "GLOBAL STATUS OF CCS 2022", October 2022). The capture and storage rate of these plants has only been 60-70% of the CO2 emitted (Renewable Energy Institute “Bottlenecks and Risks of CCS Thermal Power Policy in Japan”, April 2022, Only summary is available in English). Also see IEEFA “Proposed CCS projects need careful review for cost, technology risks” May 2023) . Without subsidies, renewables in Southeast Asia are already competitive with fossil fuel-fired power without CCS, and in some cases cheaper (BloombergNEF ”Levelized Cost of Electricity 2022 2H”, December 2022).

List of signatories (in alphabetical order)

Quotes by signatories

Related Event

Renewable Energy Institute, together with five Asian energy policy think tanks, held an online media briefing on 13 December to announce the joint statement that was released in anticipation of the Asia Zero Emissions Community (AZEC) Summit. In this briefing, representatives from each organization presented the latest developments in their respective countries and regions, and answered questions from the press.

<Event Details>
Date Wednesday 13 December
Event Format Online ※with English-Japanese simultaneous interpretation
Organizer Renewable Energy Institute

Fabby Tumiwa, Executive Director, Institute for Essential Services Reform (ISER)
Angelo Kairos Dela Cruz, Executive Director, Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (ICSC)
Khondaker Golam Moazzem (Dr.), Research Director, Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD) DL
Sara Jane Ahmed, Founder, Financial Future Center (FFC)
Seungwan Kim (Dr.), CEO, NEXT groupDL
Teruyuki Ohno, Executive Director,  Renewable Energy Institute
[MC]Yuri Okubo Senior Climate Engagement Strategist, Renewable Energy Institute

External Links

  • JCI 気候変動イニシアティブ
  • 自然エネルギー協議会
  • 指定都市 自然エネルギー協議会
  • irelp
  • 全球能源互联网发展合作组织

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