✨Clean Future Project Webinar - Discussing ASEAN’s Readiness for Clean Energy Transition
On 5 November 2023, the online webinar titled “Discussing ASEAN’s Readiness for Clean Energy Transition” was organised by Youth for Energy Southeast Asia and AYO Recent as a part of project activities under the joint research “Project Clean Future: Assessing ASEAN’s readiness for a clean energy transition”. The webinar was attended by approximately 20 attendees, with the participation of the distinguished moderator and four guest speakers:
Rauf Usman (Mr.), Chairman, Society of Renewable Energy Indonesia
Toni Dominique Madulid (Ms.), Executive Director, Reboot Philippines Renewable Energy Transition Institute
Bernadette Anne Buensuceso (Ms.), External Affairs Director, Youth for Energy Southeast Asia (Y4E-SEA)
Natalie Goh Hui Shi (Ms.), President, Student Energy-National University of Singapore
Jitsai Santaputra (Ms.), Cofounder of Y4E-SEA, SDG7 Global Youth Ambassador for Southeast Asia, appointed by SEforALL and TED
Several topics related to youth engagement in sustainable energy transition in Southeast Asia were discussed. In the webinar, Ms Bernadette, as the representative of Y4E-SEA, highlighted the importance of the collaborative research “Project Clean Future” with AYO Recent on analysing the gap among knowledge, awareness, and investment landscapes in the energy sector of ASEAN, as well as identifying the disparities in gender balance and work opportunities in this field. She emphasised the publication of the research is expected to be the framework for the follow-up activities of Y4E-SEA to take place, such as awareness campaigns, information webinars, engagement with energy experts and partners to be a part of the solution.
On the topic of upskilling the energy workforce in SEA, Mr Usman - Founder of SRE, mentioned one of the focus of SRE is to enhance competency among the youth in the energy sector, and to date the organisation has been training more than 300 young people and supporting rural empowerment in Indonesia. He also highlighted that it is a challenge for the youth to attain green jobs; therefore, SRE is targeting this group to equip them with necessary skills through practical experiences in the industries.
Representing the Student Energy from the National University of Singapore, Ms Hui Shi expressed her observation from a student’s perspective on the youth role in assessing green jobs and facilitating sustainable energy movement. She stated that energy initiatives from the youth are highly appreciated by the partners if they are closely aligned with the organisations’ missions and come with good intentions. She also pointed out from such experiences, the youth can have more exposure to the industries.
In the question of how to enhance youth engagement with other key stakeholders in the energy sector, Ms Madulid - Executive Director of Reboot Philippines expressed that although youth representation in energy forums or platforms with other key stakeholders is getting more and more evident recently, sometimes it is just for tokenism purposes, where they are just presented but not actually included in the decision-making process or the discussion with the stakeholders. In this scenario, extra effort and consistent engagement to align principles and gain other stakeholders’ trust is necessary for long-term cooperation.
Concluding the webinar, all the speakers and moderator reached a common agreement on the way forward of the upcoming research project between Y4E-SEA and AYO Recent. They hoped the suggestions and action plans could be in alignment with the reality of Southeast Asia’s energy context. Also, the speakers expressed that the engagement should not only be restricted to youth, but should be extended to strengthened connections with industries, policy-makers, engineers, and experts who play a crucial role in the energy transition. The key takeaway message was that collective small actions could accumulate to become great impacts through solidarity and connection among the youth community of the region. Together, the youths of Southeast Asia can drive a truly just energy transition which leaves no one behind. They all looked forward to the publication of the research, and wished both Y4E-SEA and AYO Recent a successful collaboration.