The inaugural AtoZero ASEAN was co-located with the 14th International Greentech and Eco Products Exhibition and Conference Malaysia (IGEM) from Oct 4th to 6th at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre (KLCC).
As global temperatures soared to 'extraordinary' levels in September, the conclusion of the AtoZero (or “Accelerate To Net Zero”) ASEAN Summit 2023 in Kuala Lumpur (4-6 October 2023) gained greater significance, emphasising the urgency of climate action in the face of record-breaking heat.
Bringing together over 700 influential leaders, this three-day gathering delved into Asia's pivotal role in tackling climate change. The stakes are especially high for Asia: climate change disproportionately impacts the region.
Co-organised by Constellar and the Malaysian Green Technology and Climate Change Corporation (MGTC), the inaugural AtoZero ASEAN was co-located with the 14th edition of the International Greentech & Eco Products Exhibition & Conference Malaysia (IGEM) 2023, Southeast Asia’s leading trade event for green technologies and eco solutions. Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia, YAB Dato' Sri Haji Fadillah bin Haji Yusof, launched IGEM 2023 at the Opening Ceremony (OC) on 5 October 2023 and Constellar was proud to be the OC Partner.
Challenges and Opportunities
Striving for net-zero emissions in Asia presents both colossal challenges and significant opportunities. On one hand, transitioning entire economies and industries to sustainable practices requires staggering investments, estimated in trillions of dollars. Southeast Asia’s renewable investments would top US$76 billion by 2025, and estimated US$119 billion by 2027 alone, Rystad Energy’s recent analysis projected. To meet baseline net-zero goals, ASEAN's power sector alone demands a substantial $184 billion investment from 2021 to 2025, entailing overcoming financial barriers, aligning policies, and securing international cooperation. Conversely, this transition opens doors for innovation, the creation of numerous green jobs, and the enhancement of economic resilience.
AtoZero ASEAN 2023, powered by clean energy solutions provider Gentari, serves as a catalyst for multi-billion-dollar net-zero projects across Asia. Firstly, it offers a collaborative platform for government, industry, and civil society stakeholders, fostering knowledge-sharing and informed decision-making. It displays innovative technologies and sustainable practices to accelerate the transition and attract investments. Moreover, it facilitates networking and partnerships, bridging the gap between potential financiers and projects seeking funding.
The vital role of collaboration and partnerships, like those forged at AtoZero ASEAN, was underscored by YB Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad, Malaysia's Minister of Natural Resources, Environment and Climate Change, who also highlighted the substantial investment prospects in Malaysia's energy transition during his opening speech.
Malaysia has set important targets in its quest to be a Net Zero nation by 2050. These include decarbonising its power sector by increasing the share of renewable energy in its primary energy supply from 4% at present to 23%, and increasing its renewable energy capacity from its current 25% to 70%.
As the hosts for AtoZero ASEAN, the Malaysian government is looking to provide leadership for climate change in the region and is seeking to actively engage and collaborate with partners and innovators in the region to help the nation unlock its potential.
Diverse Conversations for a Sustainable Future
The program featured 100 global experts sharing insights on net-zero dialogues and partnerships, with government representatives and industry leaders from ASEAN nations. Discussions spanned renewable energy adoption, sustainable transportation, green finance, and carbon pricing, aiming to advance a carbon-neutral future.
The Global Leadership Panel, moderated by Giovanni Bruni of McKinsey, explored gas and LNG's pivotal role in ASEAN's sustainability journey, emphasising their critical significance. In another panel, Jun Yee Chew of Rystad Energy highlighted ASEAN's key challenges and opportunities in transitioning to net zero, stressing the need for strong and sustained policies to incentivise private sector involvement in renewables.
Throughout, the discussions returned to the vital role of collaboration and partnerships in accelerating the net-zero transition, with Shri Pradip Kumar Das of the Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency Limited stressing the importance of global cooperation.
To that end, AtoZero ASEAN introduced the Zero Club, an exclusive feature across the AtoZero Global series, spanning ASEAN, India, and China. The club serves as a networking platform, connecting policymakers, CEOs, and think-tank leaders to drive impactful dialogues in accelerating net-zero transitions across Asia.
Forging Pathways to Net Zero
In the concluding sessions of AtoZero ASEAN 2023, the focus shifted to Corporate Net Zero Strategies, addressing commitment to initiatives like RE100, analysing carbon market intricacies, and assessing the significance of Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) for businesses. A spotlight was also shone on Decarbonizing the Transportation Sector, exploring the role of alternative fuels, technological advancements, and policy influence in achieving sustainable transportation. Additionally, Energy Efficiency (EE) was emphasised as the primary energy source, highlighting its crucial role in reducing energy consumption and environmental impact.
These discussions underscored the urgency of advancing net-zero goals in ASEAN, showcasing increasing corporate adoption, the potential of alternative fuels, and success stories in energy efficiency's role in combating climate change.
Continuing the Journey
AtoZero's mission continues with upcoming editions planned for India and China, following a similar format of high-value content and distinguished speakers, taking the conference, exhibition, and networking experience beyond ASEAN. The first AtoZero India event will be part of the Mission Net Zero India Summit taking place from 7 – 8 December 2023 in Dwarka, New Dehli.
As the world races to address the impending climate crisis, AtoZero ASEAN serves as a symbol of unity and a driving force for key players in the region to work together for a sustainable future. The AtoZero global series is envisioned to convene the international community to spark policy changes and strategic partnerships that positively impact a collective 3.5 billion population in Asia’s key markets of China, India and Southeast Asia.
Find out more about Accelerate To Net Zero, visit atozero.energy