Hydrocarbons will be important part of future ASEAN energy mix - The Hindu

Hydrocarbons to Retain Significance in ASEAN’s Future Energy Mix

Malaysian Prime Minister Emphasizes the Role of Hydrocarbons

Malaysian Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim highlighted the ongoing importance of hydrocarbons in the energy mix of Southeast Asia. Speaking at the inaugural Energy Asia conference hosted by Malaysia’s state oil firm Petronas, he acknowledged that affordability and energy security remain critical concerns for the region’s vast population of over half a billion people. Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim stressed that the pursuit of net-zero emissions targets should not come at the expense of economic growth, and vice versa, recognizing the need for a balanced approach.

Addressing Affordability and Energy Security

Southeast Asia’s energy landscape faces the challenge of balancing environmental goals with the pressing needs for affordability and energy security. Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim’s remarks underscored the region’s recognition that hydrocarbons will continue to play a significant role in meeting these requirements. While the shift towards renewable energy sources is crucial for sustainability, the region’s reliance on hydrocarbons cannot be disregarded in the immediate term.

Balancing Net-Zero Emissions and Economic Growth

Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim emphasized the importance of striking a balance between achieving net-zero emissions targets and fostering economic growth. Southeast Asian countries are striving to transition to cleaner energy systems and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. However, the prime minister’s statement highlights the region’s commitment to ensuring that such measures do not hinder economic progress. By adopting a pragmatic approach, ASEAN nations aim to address the environmental challenges while simultaneously supporting their economic development aspirations.

Energy Transition Challenges and Opportunities

The energy transition in Southeast Asia presents both challenges and opportunities. While the region acknowledges the long-term objective of reducing carbon emissions and embracing renewable energy, it also recognizes the need to address immediate energy demands and ensure energy affordability. Balancing these factors requires a comprehensive and phased approach that combines sustainable energy solutions, investment in infrastructure, and the gradual integration of renewable sources into the energy mix.

Collaborative Efforts for a Sustainable Future

To achieve a sustainable energy future, collaboration and cooperation among ASEAN member states are vital. By sharing knowledge, expertise, and best practices, the region can accelerate the adoption of cleaner energy technologies and drive sustainable development. Collaborative initiatives can also facilitate the transition towards a more diversified and resilient energy mix, reducing dependence on any single energy source and enhancing energy security.

Investment in Research and Development

Investment in research and development plays a crucial role in shaping the future energy landscape of ASEAN. By fostering innovation, the region can drive technological advancements in clean energy solutions, energy storage, and efficiency. R&D initiatives can contribute to the development of affordable and scalable renewable energy technologies, making them more accessible for widespread adoption.


Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim’s remarks emphasize the continued significance of hydrocarbons in the energy mix of Southeast Asia. While the region acknowledges the need to address climate change and pursue net-zero emissions targets, it also recognizes the importance of affordability and energy security. Striking a balance between environmental sustainability and economic growth is a key consideration for ASEAN nations. Through collaborative efforts, investment in research and development, and a phased energy transition, the region can pave the way for a sustainable and resilient future energy landscape.