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Siemens-backed study on climate change released

Released at: 16:13, 30/09/2016

Siemens-backed study on climate change released

Photo: Viet Tuan, Siemens

Study looks at policy framework in Vietnam, Malaysia and Thailand and role of private sector.

by Doanh Doanh

The “ASEAN in a Climate of Change: Spotlight on Sustainable Energy in Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam” report, prepared by the Economist Corporate Network (ECN) and sponsored by Siemens, was released in Hanoi on September 30.

The study maps out the policy landscape relating to climate change in the three key ASEAN economies and how the private sector in Southeast Asia is responding to the challenge of a clean energy transition.

Through online surveys and direct interviews the report collates the opinions of various players actively involved in energy-related investments and infrastructure as well as policy development from both the private and public sectors in Southeast Asia.

The study was carried out not only to gauge the attitudes of relevant industry players towards the climate policies in the region but also to examine the role the private sector could play.

The results of the study reinforce the fact that energy demand in the top six ASEAN economies continues to increase and as a consequence emissions are rising rapidly. 

Active participation outside government circles and collaborative partnerships between governments and the private sector are reported as key to the successful mitigation of emissions in the region. Sixty-four per cent of survey respondents said that the promotion of renewables would be the most efficient way of de-carbonizing energy systems while around 40 per cent expect the private sector to play a primary role in mitigating climate change.

Emissions in Vietnam have been rising at a robust rate over the last decade. According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), between 2006 and 2015 Vietnam’s energy-related CO2 emissions have risen by an annual average of 10 per cent due to rapid growth in the economy and energy consumption.

Vietnam’s INDC (Intended Nationally Determined Contributions) includes both a mitigation and adaptation component. With international support Vietnam has pledged a 25 per cent reduction in emissions from its BAU (business-as-usual) scenario by 2030. The study reveals that the ability of Vietnam to do so will also depend on its capacity to attract a sufficient level of investment from the private sector. 

Echoing the same judgment during the panel discussion, all five key panelists, including Dr. Thai-Lai Pham, President & CEO of Siemens Ltd Vietnam, Mr. Pham Van Tan, Deputy Director General for Climate Change and Vice Chief of Vietnam’s Climate Change Negotiation Team at the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, Mr. Nguyen Ninh Hai, Deputy Director of New and Renewable Department at the Ministry of Industry and Trade, Mr. Franz Gerner, Lead Senior Economist for Energy with the World Bank, and Dr. Andy Staples, Director, ECN, Southeast Asia, highlighted the need for the private sector to step up in the fight against climate change.

“At Siemens we believe that the private sector has as much responsibility as governments do, if not more, to actively engage in efforts to reduce GHG emissions and to help lead the transition to a low-carbon climate-resilient economy,” Dr. Pham said. He added that as a world-leading technology infrastructure company he believes that the challenges that climate change presents can be resolved, in part, through technology and that many of these solutions are already available today.

Siemens is committed to combating climate change and aims to be the world’s first major industrial company to achieve a net-zero carbon footprint by 2030. The company plans to cut its CO2 emissions, which currently total about 2.2 million metric tons a year, in half as early as 2020. “To achieve these goals Siemens will invest some 100 million euro ($111.8 million) over the next three years in order to reduce the energy footprint of its production facilities and buildings,” Dr. Pham said.

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