BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN (Borneo Bulletin/Asia News Network): Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the Asean region are estimated to increase in the same period, based on the latest Nationally determined contributions (NDC) targets up to 2030.
A recent study by the AseanCentre for Energy through its Asean Climate Change and the Energy Project (Accept) on Asean’s energy and climate policy indicates that carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions per capita will increase by 140 per cent between 2015 and 2040 in the region, and that emissions must fall by 11 per cent relative to the present trajectory to meet the targets of the NDCs.
The concerning trend of increasing GHG emissions in the regional bloc was highlighted by Centre for Energy Manager at the Asean Secretariat Dr Beni Suryadi in his presentation ‘The Outlook of Greenhouse Gas Emission in Asean’ at the second day of Climate Action Week in collaboration with Ministry of Development as official partner of the Brunei Mid-Year Conference and Exhibition 2022 (Brunei MYCE 2022) at Musyawarah Hall of International Convention Centre in Berakas
To keep the Paris Agreement temperature goal within reach, he iterated that ASEAN needs to achieve peak emissions as soon as possible after 2030 and net-zero GHG emissions as soon as possible after 2050.
Decoupling of the growth in GDP and energy-related CO2 emissions is observed only in a handful of the Asean member states.
“It is vital to reduce energy intensity through lower energy demand and further energy savings and to reduce emission intensity by promoting renewable energy expansion,” he said.
“Current policies need to be enhanced to achieve the NDC targets. The commitments under the NDCs will provide Asean with a better perspective of the need for a more ambitious course of action on mitigation in the future.
"Ambitious energy policies can significantly reduce GHG emission and helps our vision towards low carbon economies and climate resilient nations.”
Earlier in his presentation, Dr Beni highlighted, “a brief record-breaking drop in climate change – causing carbon emissions during the height of the coronavirus pandemic. However nowadays we continue to hear the news and read reports that say that global emissions have already rebounded to near pre-pandemic levels”.
“While we are grateful to learn that the economy is reviving and we see economic activities taking place everywhere, there is an urgent need for us to limit the growth of emissions. Global GHG emissions continue to rise, at a time when they need to be rapidly falling.”
At the global level, he said, “It is recorded that almost three-quarters of the GHG emissions come from energy use; almost one-fifth from agriculture and land use (this increases to one-quarter when we consider the food system as a whole – including processing, packaging, transport and retail); and the remaining eight per cent from industry and waste”.
“This is not surprising as more than 80 per cent of the global energy mix is generated from fossil fuels. A similar case for us in the Southeast Asian region, where the shares of renewable energy in our regional energy mix in 2020 is only 14.2 per cent”.
Referring to the ASEAN State of Climate Change Report released last year, he said, “In 2016, the ASEAN region emits 1,485 MtCO2eq from fossil fuel combustion and 965 MtCO2eq from land use, land-use change and forestry (LULUCF). The Asean Centre for Energy estimated that in 2020, it will increase to around 1,700 MtCO2eq from the energy sector only.”
Under the Baseline Scenario that assumes the Asean member states’ energy systems continue to develop along with historical trends, he said, “With little effort to meet their national or regional targets, the emissions level will reach 2,228 MtCO2-eq by 2025, then nearly double again by 2040, to 4,171 Mt CO2-eq.”
He also noted that the electricity and transport sectors start out as and remain the biggest emitters of GHGs and air pollution in Asean.
“If the Asean member states do what is needed to fully achieve their own national energy efficiency and renewable energy targets, as well as their climate commitments, Asean’s total energy- related GHG emissions in 2040 will be 3,002 MtCO2-eq, 28 per cent lower than in the baseline scenario.
“Power generation remains the largest sectoral contributor, accounting for about 40 per cent and 46 per cent of total GHG emissions from energy in 2025 and 2040, respectively.
“Furthermore, if Asean fulfilled its regional aspirational targets on the energy efficiency and renewable energy as stipulated in the Asean Plan of Action for the Energy Cooperation or APAEC and how this might transform Asean’s energy systems even beyond 2025, Asean will be able to reduce GHG emissions more sharply to only 2,264 Mt CO2-eq in 2040,” he said.