Opening Remarks by Bambang Susantono, ADB Vice-President for Knowledge Management and Sustainable Development at the Asia Clean Energy Forum 2019 on 18 June 2019 in Manila, Philippines

Welcome to Asia Clean Energy Forum 2019 (ACEF 2019)

President Nakao, Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen.

Good morning and a very warm welcome to the Asia Clean Energy Forum. On behalf of ADB, and our co-organizers, the U.S. Agency for International Development, the Korea Energy Agency, and our knowledge Partner, the International Energy Agency, we are pleased to bring together clean energy practitioners from across the region and from around the world to showcase new ideas. There are over 1,200 people from 70 countries registered with strong representations from the private sector entrepreneurs, project developers, banks and financial institutions, together with government representatives, technical specialists, researchers, youth organizations, and civil society.  

Strategy 2030 and the theme for ACEF 2019

Last year, ADB finalized its Strategy 2030, setting the direction for our work over the next 10 years. Reflecting on Strategy 2030, the theme for this year’s ACEF is “Partnering for Impact,” which brings strategy into practice.

Our current strategy leapfrogs and identifies seven operational priority areas as you can see here on the slide, taking a bold step by focusing on the impacts of our interventions.

The Energy sector plays a key role in deepening the quality impact through the delivery of innovative investments across all the seven operational priority areas.  

Strategy 2030 changes how ADB designs projects, and challenges us to deploy better solutions with the highest impacts.

  • For example, when designing a transmission line to bring power to a city we need to question “how can this support rural development?” and search for solutions to provide power to communities and support value chains all along the route.
  • While supporting policy development to improve energy sector governance, we need to question – “how we can increase gender inclusion”
  • Further, through our work in the energy space, we need to consider how energy sector projects can contribute to the creation of regional public goods by always reaching for higher ambition on climate goals and regional cooperation.

The ACEF this year reflects this systemic and strategic thinking by partnering across other sectors in alignment with our Strategy 2030. We have aligned our program to reflect the priorities of Strategy 2030 priorities.

Additionally – we have introduced a number of other innovations:

  1. Throughout ACEF – we are sharing the stories of ADB investments in several of our member countries – demonstrating the impact we are making.
  2. ACEF 2019 has doubled the women speakers and attendance compared to last year through targeted efforts and outreach.
  3. We are purchasing carbon credits to offset all the travel related emissions from attendees at ACEF.
  4. And we are greatly limiting our printed materials and using electronic media for conference materials.

This is all part of ADB “walking the talk” of sustainable development.

I know that all of us here – as stakeholders in the development community and the energy sector – have aimed to maximize the tangible results of the work we do. I also believe that this renewed focus on deeper impacts will complement the work in other sectors by partnering with among others:

  • urban planners to support how energy is consumed and saved in cities;
  • water specialists to manage, save and use water sustainably in energy projects;
  • social and financial experts to support families and businesses through productive use of energy in rural settings; and
  • waste management professionals to recycle, upcycle and reduce waste in cities, communities, and in our oceans.

This year, we have a very special partnership with the youth. Youth engagement is a key component of ACEF this year to empower the next generation of energy leaders in finding innovative solutions to address the challenges we face.

In partnership with ADB's Youth for Asia initiative, we held a "Crash Course" yesterday on sustainable energy and entrepreneurship, followed by a "Voltage Tank," similar to the American TV show "Shark Tank," where youth teams pitched their solutions to clean energy challenges from the Crash Course to a panel of expert judges.  

The winner from the Voltage Tank will present their solution in our closing ACEF plenary. These young leaders will showcase their solutions in our "Youth Lounge," located in Annex 2 all week, beginning this afternoon. There will also be special presentations from our Youth Leaders starting at 3 p.m. today, so please be sure to visit the Lounge and pull up a beanbag to chat with these young entrepreneurs throughout the week.


Ladies and gentlemen,

Energy has been referred to by the UN Secretary General as “the golden thread that connects all the Sustainable Development Goals”. We at ADB recognize this through our operational priorities.

At ACEF 2019 – I request you all to partner; to bring “Power to People through Partnerships,” for delivering the desired impact in the Asia and the Pacific region

Thank you all for your participation and engagement, once again welcome to the 2019 Asia Clean Energy Forum.


    Susantono , Bambang
    Vice-President for Knowledge Management and Sustainable Development