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ADFIAP speaks at the ASEAN Energy Business Forum

ADFIAP participated in the 5th CEFIA Government-Private Forum which was hosted by the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources of Indonesia, in co-operation with the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) of the Government of Japan, with the support from the ASEAN Centre for Energy (ACE). It was held as part of the ASEAN Energy Business Forum. CEFIA or the Cleaner Energy Future Initiative in ASEAN CEFIA is an initiative proposed by Japan and welcomed by ASEAN +3 Ministers of Energy at the 16th ASEAN+3 Meeting of Energy Ministers in Bangkok, Thailand in September 2019. It holds an annual forum for the government and private sectors to serve as platform to facilitate collaboration and accelerate the deployment of cleaner energy and low carbon technologies in the ASEAN region.

The critical role of financial institutions in the global aspiration of transitioning to Zero-Energy development gets a share in the CEFIA sessions at the recently concluded ASEAN Energy Business Forum held in Bali, Indonesia from 24-26 August 2023, held in conjunction with the ASEAN Ministers of Energy Meeting. The Forum, spearheaded by Indonesia’s Ministry of Energy and Minerals and the ASEAN Center for Energy, gathers representatives from government organizations, business sector, international organizations, and provides a platform for dialogues and collaborative actions for energy solutions.

Speaking at the 5th CEFIA Government-Private Forum, Maria Teresita Lacerna, ADFIAP Legal Adviser and Lead for Sustainable Finance and Green Development, stressed the power of Financial Institutions to direct the course of development towards Zero-Energy. “ Financial Institutions have the power of the purse that is able to shift the flow of investments and financing towards energy efficiency, renewable and cleaner energy initiatives,” Ms. Lacerna added. She identified financing challenges in the areas of governance, resource and staff capacities, regulatory and institutional hurdles as well lack or limited access to climate data and international best practices. CEFIA or Cleaner Energy Future Initiative in ASEAN provides the regional platform to address these challenges, in collaboration with the Association of Development Financing Institutions in Asia and the Pacific (ADFIAP). Ms. Lacerna stressed that CEFIA’s avenues to support financial institutions are three-fold: an annual public-private forum for dialogue, supporting research and studies, and capacity building. Ms. Lacerna also highlighted CEFIA’s Transition Finance Acceleration Laboratory that will help Financial Institutions develop transition financing programs particularly focusing on Green Building, CEFIA’s flagship project.

The Financing perspective was once again set out during the CEFIA discussion on “ASEAN Best Practices and Initiatives on Smart and Integrated Digital Energy Management in the Industrial, Commercial and Building Sectors.” The panel of representatives from the finance, industry and government sectors centered their discourse on the challenges faced in the deployment of smart energy technology. Sharing her views from the standpoint of financing institutions, Ms. Lacerna identified as hurdles institutional environment where regulations may not be suited for the application of the new technology. The technology risks stemming from lack of business model or demonstration application, which breeds uncertainty in terms of interoperability with the existing facilities or inoperability where the technology may not deliver the expected output. With the new technology also comes the need for bank staff to build their capacities particularly in evaluating the technical aspects of the proposal. To accelerate deployment of new technology, partnerships is essential. Ms. Lacerna proposed a partnership between the industry, the government and financing sectors that share the burden for technology deployment, the financial risks and cost of funds.

A partnership between the industry, the government and financing sectors that share the burden of technology deployment, financial risks and cost of funds …

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