The main highlight of the ASEAN Energy Business Forum (AEBF) 2021 was the Ministers – CEOs Dialogue which brought together ASEAN Ministers and senior officials and energy industry leaders in a high energy and high impact discussion on ASEAN energy transition, decarbonisation efforts and emerging innovative technologies in achieving the net-zero goals.

The Dialogue was held virtually on 16th September 2021 and moderated by Yang Berhormat Dayang Siti Rozaimeriyanty binti Dato Seri Laila Jasa Awang Haji Abdul Rahman, Brunei Darussalam Legislative Council Member and Chair of the ASEAN Business Advisory Council (ABAC). The Dialogue was joined by Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Dr. Awang Haji Mat Suny bin Haji Md. Hussein, Minister of Energy and Yang Mulia Haji Azhar bin Haji Yahya, Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Energy and Interim Managing Director of Petroleum Authority of Brunei Darussalam (PA). The Dialogue also featured participating CEOs from Brunei Darussalam’s energy sector.

In line with the Brunei Darussalam ASEAN Chairmanship, the theme for the Dialogue was “We Care, We Prepare, We Prosper,” – it emphasizes ASEAN’s efforts to offset the negative impact of climate change and maintaining energy security, accessibility, affordability for all.

The Dialogue commenced with a strategic debate on energy transition and climate nexus followed by the fast tracking and enabling renewables penetration in ASEAN, the role of gas and LNG in driving ASEAN’s decarbonisation and concluded with an enlightening conversation on clean, emerging and advanced technologies on reaching the net-zero goal.

Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Dr. Awang Haji Mat Suny, Minister of Energy in his statement highlighted Brunei Darussalam’s commitment towards global climate change with the launch of the Brunei National Climate Change Policy in 2020. He reaffirmed Brunei’s ambition of 20% reduction in carbon emissions from the energy sector by 2025 through efforts in promoting gas and LNG as source of cleaner and transitional alternative energy, renewable energy integration, strengthening energy efficiency and conservation practices and technological advancements.

On the topic of driving ASEAN’s decarbonisation, Yang Mulia Awang Haji Azhar, PA’s Interim Managing Director shared the important role of gas and LNG as the transitionary fuel to renewables in meeting the increase in energy demand in Southeast Asia due to its accessibility and affordability. Furthermore, as an oil and gas producing nation, Brunei Darussalam’s energy sector is entering an era with new challenges. He emphasized on the importance of solid domestic policies and international investments in upstream exploration and production activities in paving the way in enabling gas to play a positive part in Southeast Asia.

The Dialogue also underlined the significance of new and emerging clean technologies such as hydrogen fuel, Carbon Capture, Utilisation and Storage (CCUS), and electric vehicle as an alternative to fuel the ASEAN region while staying on course in curbing the effect of climate change.

In her closing remark, Yang Berhormat Dayang Siti Rozaimeriyanty reiterated the views presented by the panellist on balancing the need to meet the increasing energy demand in Southeast Asia with the pursuit of low-carbon energy transition and restated the role of Public Private Partnership in fast-tracking and enabling renewables in ASEAN.