(Media Release) Pathway to Green Recovery in ASEAN: Business councils express strong support for a sustainable and green recovery in ASEAN post-COVID-19 pandemic 

(In picture top row, from left) 

Tan Sri Dr. Munir Majid (Chairman, CARI), Hon. Yanty Rahman (ASEAN-BAC Chair 2021), Hajah Farida Dato Seri Paduka Haji Talib (Managing Director and CEO, Brunei LNG), Jukhee Hong (Executive Director, CARI), Mr. Gil Gonzales (Executive Director, ASEAN-BAC), along with the speakers and participants from Sessions 1 and 2 of the Pathway to Green Recovery in ASEAN Dialogue Sessions.

Kuala Lumpur, 23 July 2021 – CARI ASEAN Research and Advocacy (CARI), in collaboration with its supporting partners ASEAN Business Advisory Council (ASEAN-BAC) and ASEAN-BAC Malaysia, hosted two “Pathway to Green Recovery for ASEAN Dialogues” to discuss and gather recommendations, perspectives and priorities towards Greening ASEAN from ASEAN private sector as well as Foreign Business Associations in the ASEAN region and sector champions. 

The dialogues featured a Special Address by Hajah Farida Dato Seri Paduka Haji Talib, the Managing Director and CEO of Brunei LNG, the Honourable Yanty Rahman, the Chair of ASEAN Business Advisory Council 2021, Tan Sri Dr. Munir Majid, the Chairman of CARI ASEAN Research and Advocacy and ASEAN-BAC Malaysia, as well as a presentation by Jukhee Hong, Executive Director of CARI on the “Pathway to Green Recovery for ASEAN” at both the sessions.

CARI expands its advocacy work on green and sustainable recovery in ASEAN

Moderated by Jukhee Hong, both dialogues have been organised as a follow-up of the four CARI Policy Briefs released early 2021 on recommendations of climate aligned strategies relating to areas of (i) stimulus spending, (ii) taxation, and national budgets (iii) overseas investment, and (iv) the future of work social justice and equality. Insights generated from both the dialogues will be captured in a new report that will be used to further support the policy recommendations already identified in the original four (4) reports and for socialisation at the ASEAN meetings.

The dialogues were attended by representatives from nine ASEAN member countries, as well as senior business leaders from ASEAN-BAC Joint Business Councils from the EU, US, UK, Russia, Japan, India, and ASEAN Tourism Association (ASEANTA).

(In picture) Hon. Yanty Rahman, Chair of ASEAN Business Advisory Council 2021

ASEAN needs to consolidate climate actions in its economic recovery

The Honorable Yanty Rahman pointed out that ASEAN and the world are relentlessly pushing for vaccination drives amidst the new COVID-19 infection surge and pushing back many economic recovery milestones behind schedule. However, the recovery from this pandemic presents a defining opportunity for ASEAN to come together to push for the work under the three pillars of the ASEAN Community.

She said that “It has become very clear that no long term economic recovery can be envisioned, much less sustained, unless we address the environmental crisis and consolidate climate actions in the heart of our recovery. The sustainability element is very much embedded in Brunei’s ASEAN chairmanship Priority Economic Deliverables. The aim is to advance inclusive sustainable economic growth and once such deliverable is the Framework on ASEAN Circular Economy.”

(In picture) Tan Sri Dr. Munir Majid, Chairman of CARI ASEAN Research and Advocacy

Regulations and legislature-led approach are effective pathways to mobilise the private sector in greening ASEAN

Tan Sri Dr. Munir Majid proposed that ASEAN governments should step up regulations of businesses to tackle and to drive towards green investment and regional carbon pricing. One possible way to is set up an ASEAN Alliance of Legislators to push this agenda forward. There is also a need to highlight the benefits of the Environmental, Social & Governance and Sustainable Development Goals aspects in businesses. The public and the private sector could join hands in running media campaigns to raise awareness towards the green agenda. 

Every country in ASEAN has made some kind of programme with varying degrees of preparedness. The Singapore Green plan stands out to be the most comprehensive and ASEAN member states could use it as a baseline model for the region. ASEAN should also look at potential border issues that may arise due to cross-border carbon tax to ensure that there is no race-to-the-bottom.”

(In picture) Jukhee Hong, Executive Director of CARI ASEAN Research and Advocacy

SMEs need to be green-ready and ASEAN Community needs to pursue cross-pillar and cross-sectoral collaboration to advance climate aligned agenda

“The survival of businesses is the top priority for SMEs in the current raging pandemic. Notwithstanding that, green compliance will eventually impact SMEs in the supply chains of larger businesses and financial institutions will continue to transition to be more climate aligned and therefore preparing the SMEs to be green-ready is critically important to future proof their businesses given the opportunity of economic reset once the pandemic has stabilized,’ said Jukhee Hong.

She also pointed out that ASEAN Member states are parties to the United Nations Framework Conventions on Climate Change and the Paris Climate Agreement and considerable work has been carried out by ASEAN ministerial meeting on the Environment and the respective senior officials in setting climate mitigation goals at the local, national, regional levels under the ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community pillar. But given the critical role that the economic sector plays in carbon emissions and climate mitigation with key fiscal policy stakeholders coming from the economic sector, cross-pillar and sectoral collaboration should be pursued.

(In picture) Hajah Farida Dato Seri Paduka Haji Talib, Managing Director and CEO of Brunei LNG

Energy transitioning is key to drive low carbon economy in ASEAN

Puan Hajah Farida highlighted that the global population is projected to grow by a third in the next thirty years, driving the same proportion of energy demand. However, in line with the commitment to the Paris Agreement, parties need to halve the CO2 emissions by 2030. 

“As we move towards a low carbon resilient world, being the cleanest fossil fuel, natural gas is set to take over coal as the second-largest energy source. In the next 20 years, Asia is projected to absorb over 70% of the world’s LNG demand and with rising pressure to tackle climate change, LNG will become a key player. Across the oil and gas industry, we are looking at avoiding, reducing, compensating their emissions as a result of our operations and protecting the environment”.


About CARI
CARI ASEAN Research and Advocacy (CARI) is an independent, transnational research institute dedicated solely to the advancement and acceleration of ASEAN integration. 

For more information, kindly contact:
Jukhee Hong, Executive Director

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *