APEF Subregional Consultation Meeting for South-East Asia

3 Oct 2012 to 5 Oct 2012
Bangkok, Thailand

The Sub-regional Consultation Meeting for South-East Asia was organized on 3-5 October 2012 in Bangkok, Thailand. This meeting was organized by ESCAP in cooperation with the ASEAN Centre for Energy, and was held in conjunction with the Power-Gen Asia 2012, one of South-East Asia's largest event in the power generation sector.

South-East Asia is a large sub-region stretching from the Bay of Bengal to the Philippine Sea, comprising a population of over 620 million people. Its 11 countries have different economies in terms of size, complexity and diversification, and this is also reflected on their energy situation. While the sub-region's energy mix is dominated by fossil fuels, countries such as Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar and Timor Leste have their energy mix dominated by renewables, mostly traditional biomass. Another particularity about South-East Asia is that the sub-region is not self-sufficient in fossil fuels, although some countries are net exporters of these resources, such as Viet Nam and Timor Leste.

Set against this context, the meeting discussed and reached consensus on the main challenges affecting the sub-region. Among them, participants acknowledged the need to reduce the energy intensity of countries in South-East Asia, the deployment of large-scale low-carbon and zero-carbon energy technologies, and the need to reduce the dependency on imported energy. The meeting also discussed the proposed messages to be incorporated into the outcome documents of APEF, and agreed that they should be based on existing approved actions at Ministerial level within the ASEAN institutional framework, also taking into account the views of Timor-Leste.

At the Rio+20 Conference, the Member States of the United Nations recognized the importance of energy-related matters in eradicating poverty, leading sustainable development, and building global prosperity. Supporting the Secretary-General's initiative, and the commitments at Rio+20, the Asian and Pacific Energy Forum (APEF) 2013 provides an opportunity to forge a forward-looking regional energy strategy. It is a key intergovernmental platform for us to agree on the policy options necessary to build the energy future we want for Asia and the Pacific.