Speech by Masatsugu Asakawa, President, Asian Development Bank, at the Southeast Asia Development Symposium, 30 March 2023, Bali, Indonesia


Your Excellency Minister Sri Mulyani, distinguished guests, colleagues:

Thank you for joining us for the fourth annual Southeast Asia Development Symposium under the theme “Imagining a Net Zero ASEAN."

I. Urgent need for climate action

Climate change is the most urgent issue facing Southeast Asia, and it is critical that we work together in building innovative solutions to accelerate the region’s transition to net zero.

We need to tackle climate change with practical solutions to decarbonize the region, while ensuring strong, sustainable, and inclusive economic growth. ASEAN countries committed to reducing emissions at the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26). And now we must instill these climate goals in each country’s policies, plans, and projects. 

For our part, ADB has stepped up as the Climate Bank for Asia and the Pacific. Our ambition is to provide $100 billion in cumulative climate finance from 2019 to 2030, while launching game-changing platforms to scale up climate financing.

II. Energy transition in Southeast Asia

At COP26, I was honored to launch the Energy Transition Mechanism Southeast Asia Partnership with Minister Mulyani and others. The Energy Transition Mechanism, or E-T-M, will expedite the retirement of coal-fired power plants; support the installation of renewable energy sources; and help ensure a just energy transition that protects the poor and vulnerable.

Indonesia’s progress on energy transition provides an example for other countries to forge a path to net zero. ADB is committed to supporting these efforts across the region. Once scaled up, the new ETM Partnership has the potential to serve as one of the largest carbon reduction models in the world.

III. Green, sustainable economic recovery

As ASEAN countries continue their recovery from COVID-19, we must ensure that economic revitalization is done in a greener and more sustainable way. 

Later today, ADB will release a study that sets forth concrete measures that governments and businesses can adopt to advance the decarbonization of global value chains. Investments in renewable energy and improved efficiency, incentives to reduce trading costs for climate-smart goods, and the acceleration of digitalization can all contribute to greener and more sustainable value chains in ASEAN and beyond.


Achieving a net zero ASEAN will require a diverse range of partners all joining together to address climate change.

ADB is proud to stand with Indonesia, other countries and partners across Asia and the Pacific, and all of you here today as we work together to achieve a more carbon neutral future, and create a more prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable region.

Thank you.