- Special Report
Under the United Nations (UN) Paris Agreement, 195 nations signed‑on to limit the rise in average global surface temperatures to less than 2 degrees Celsius (C) above pre‑industrial levels. Reaching this goal will require a transformation of the global energy system over the upcoming decades. Most of the signatories of the Paris Agreement are refining their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) for the 2018 Facilitative Dialogue that will be held at the 24th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP24) in Katowice, Poland in December 2018. Countries can deploy a wide range of policies to bridge the gap between current emission trajectories and NDC goals, and national strategies for compliance with NDCs are evolving.
The goals of this report are to conduct a gap analysis between emission levels that can be achieved under current policies/practices and national‑level NDC targets for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) block of ten countries (Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam), to identify key challenges to compliance, and to suggest regionally applicable policy and technology solutions, with a focus on the electricity sector. There are several publications that track the progress of reaching the Paris Agreement goals, such as UN Emissions Gap Report and Climate Action Tracker (climateactiontracker.org). They focus on global results providing information for selected countries.
- For the Paris Agreement process, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries pledge to reduce their emissions through 2030 and introduce numerous policies to fulfill their pledges. This report offers a discussion of policy instruments and technologies in the energy sector that can assist ASEAN countries in achieving their emission mitigation targets.
- The ASEAN countries face the challenge of reducing GHG emissions while at the same time expanding energy supply to meet the needs of their rapidly developing economies. In aggregate the ASEAN region is making good progress towards its Paris goals but still requires additional action to sufficiently decrease emissions from its current trajectory.
- Under the unconditional pledges, the ASEAN region faces an emissions gap (i.e., the needed reduction to meet the Paris pledges) of around 400 MtCO2e, which indicates that the ASEAN region will have to reduce emissions by 11% by 2030 relative to its current trajectory. Under the conditional (i.e., subject to more ambitious global efforts and technology and financial transfers) pledges, the emissions gap is about 900 MtCO2e, which indicates a needed reduction of 24% by 2030.
- Individually, while some countries are projected to be close to or to even over‑achieve their goals for 2030, others need substantial additional efforts. However, there are many policy and technology options to reduce the emissions gap.
- Carbon pricing through taxes or cap‑and‑trade systems tends to be the most cost‑effective option but can be politically challenging to implement. Other policy instruments are therefore needed to promote clean technology (e.g., support to natural gas infrastructure development for countries with large coal use and renewable energy auctions for all ASEAN countries).
- While wind and solar generation provide attractive options for lowering emissions, a switch from coal to natural gas promotes lower‑carbon power generation and enables higher penetration of intermittent renewables by serving as backup capacity.
- Our country‑specific analysis for Indonesia and Vietnam shows that emission reduction goals are achievable at a manageable cost. For an economy‑wide policy, the GDP cost of meeting unconditional pledges in Indonesia and Vietnam is only 0.03% and 0.008%, respectively, relative to GDP in a business‑as‑usual scenario in 2030.
- Our assessment is unique in providing a gap analysis that consistently covers all ASEAN countries. We provide all input data and tools used in our analysis in an open source format. We hope the open source format will enhance the capacity of ASEAN economies to analyze their pathways to meeting their emission mitigation goals.