What does it take to develop the ASEAN green economy?

Southeast Asia plays an increasingly important role globally, with the combined GDPs of the ASEAN trading group making it the fifth largest economy in the world. But do these countries have the capacity to adapt to the imminent shift towards net zero emissions?

On Tuesday 26 October 2021, our expert panel explored what the biggest challenges are for the region, the unique opportunities that can be leveraged, the economic levers that can be pulled, and how the region can align with global efforts to reverse emissions.

Southeast Asia is one of the most vulnerable regions when it comes to the impact of climate change. At the same time, it’s estimated that developing Southeast Asia’s green economy could provide up to $1 trillion in annual economic opportunities.

All of Southeast Asia’s key trading partners have made a pledge to transition to a decarbonised economy by 2050. Our panel interrogated how these close trade relations can benefit the region through access to low carbon technologies.

The online event focussed on the Southeast Asian region and consider how the ASEAN member states are prepared to respond to the level of ambition set by COP26 and the 1.5 degrees science from the IPCC. This event is produced by Written & Recorded. Watch the full panel below:


Thu-Ba Huynh. PhD
Senior Technical Advisor – Environment and Climate Change, FHI 360 Asia Pacific and Honorary Scholar/Lecturer at Melbourne University, Australia

Dr. Thu-Ba Huynh has over twenty years of experience working in climate change governance, natural resource management and social-ecological systems dynamics with UNDP, FAO, the Asian Development Bank, International NGOs and research institutions in Asia Pacific, Africa, and Australia. Currently, she is leading the Environment and Climate Change Initiative for FHI 360 Asia Pacific. 

Thu-Ba was a Fulbright Scholar (MSc) at Yale University, USA, and an Endeavour Awardee (PhD) at University of Melbourne.

Professor Wing Woo
Vice President for Asia, Sustainable Development Solutions Network

Wing Thye Woo is currently studying the design of efficient, equitable pathways to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals with projects on Green Finance, Middle Income Trap, and Global Economic Architecture for the Multi-Polar World. He is an expert on the East Asian economies, particularly in China, Indonesia and Malaysia.

Wing Woo is Research Professor at Sunway University in Kuala Lumpur where he heads the Jeffrey Cheah Institute on Southeast Asia and Jeffrey Sachs Center on Sustainable Development, and Vice-President for Asia at the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) in New York City. Wing is also Chang Jiang Professor at Fudan University in Shanghai, Distinguished Fellow at Penang Institute in George Town, Thousand Talent Scholar at the Institute of Population and Labour Economics of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in Beijing; and Distinguished Professor Emeritus at University of California Davis, which graciously privileged him to serve in 1985-2020.

Guntur Sutiyono
Country Lead – Indonesia at Climateworks Australia

Guntur leads Climateworks’ Indonesian team. This team enhances Climateworks’ understanding of the region by providing context about policy, politics, and the economic landscape. They are responsible for assessing opportunities and acting as a trusted advisor to stakeholders. Guntur oversees projects in sustainable finance, fiscal policy, energy, and support business development.

Prior to joining Climateworks, Guntur worked for the Climate Policy Initiative and the World Bank as an analyst covering topics including fiscal policy, public finance, climate finance, and environmental economics. Guntur has worked with governments, local universities, and civil society organizations providing analysis and capacity building.

Guntur holds a master’s degree in Development and Resource Economics from the Norwegian University of Life Science, and a Bachelor of Economics from University of Indonesia. 


Professor John Thwaites AM
Chairman at Climateworks Australia

John Thwaites is a Professorial Fellow, Monash University, and Chair of the Monash Sustainable Development Institute and Climateworks Australia.

John is Chair of Melbourne Water and a Director of Fair Trade Australia New Zealand. He is also Chair of the National Sustainable Development Council. He is a Co-Chair of the Leadership Council of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (“SDSN”). John was Deputy Premier of Victoria from 1999 until his retirement in 2007. During this period he held various Ministerial portfolios including Health, Planning, Environment, Water and was Victoria’s first Minister for Climate Change. In these portfolios he was responsible for major reforms in social policy, health, environment and water.