Climateworks have partnered with the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) and the Jeffrey Sachs Center on Sustainable Development at Sunway University to build the economic and technical case for decarbonisation of seven economies in the ASEAN group: Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam.

Ahead of COP26 in November, teams from each country are demonstrating that nations in this region can be more ambitious on climate action, while acknowledging existing momentum and the need for financing and support.

Climateworks is coordinating the publishing of reports from each nation, as well as creating a regional report that synthesises individual country findings, building an overarching view of the risks of inaction for the region. The regional report will also highlight opportunities for enhanced climate action through regional cooperation. 

Over coming months, the project will draw on these findings to facilitate engagement and information-sharing with key decision-makers from across the region. The aim is to deepen understanding of the interplay between economic resilience and climate action, in order to strengthen support for more ambitious climate commitments from ASEAN countries at this year’s COP. 

Country teams will build on this effort in 2022 with a focus on research and analysis, to demonstrate the feasibility of net zero by 2050 commitments from their governments. 

The project is taking a unique approach by focusing on opportunities for increasing or achieving greater ambition through regional collaboration,such as trading energy across borders or strengthening regional value chains for low-carbon technologies. 

The ASEAN region is particularly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. Six of the world’s 20 most vulnerable nations are ASEAN member countries. Climate change therefore also places disproportionate economic risks on the region. Recent analysis by Swiss Re found that climate change impacts could shrink the region’s GDP 37.4 per cent by 2048, without corrective action. Such economic impacts would unwind decades of positive development gains. 

But the story could, alternatively, be a positive one – 2019 analysis by Climateworks and Vivid Economics found that Asia is on the cusp of competitiveness in the manufacture and export of low-carbon technologies. To achieve the region’s long term economic and development goals, a focus on green growth could help to ensure ASEAN countries are the major economies of tomorrow. 

Stay tuned for more updates on this exciting project. Find out more about our work in Southeast Asia.