Jakarta – ASEAN countries potentially lose 37.4 per cent of their Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by 2048 if climate change mitigation and energy transition fail to take place as large parts of Southeast Asia are geographically more vulnerable to climate change impacts, according to analysts.
Publish What You Pay (PWYP) Indonesia researcher Mouna Wasef said that the intensity of floods, typhoons, and disasters due to extreme weather in the ASEAN region has tended to increase in recent years.
“Using the scenario of an average global temperature increase of 2.3 degrees Celsius by 2050, 600 million Asians could potentially be hit by annual heat waves. Then 75 per cent of potential economic losses due to annual flooding and an increase of three or four times the extreme rainfall in a number of Asian regions, including the ASEAN region,” Wasef said in a written statement.
According to her, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand will lose economic output totalling more than seven times their GDP by 2050. With Indonesia’s GDP currently reaching IDR 21,000 trillion (USD 1.38 billion), Indonesia will potentially lose IDR 147,000 trillion (USD 9.64 billion) if it does not mitigate climate change.
“The public’s high hopes and expectations of the outcome of the 43rd ASEAN Summit 2023 in responding to climate change issues must be accompanied by concrete deliverables as well as high commitment in its implementation,” Wasef said.
She said there is pessimism towards the implementation of ASEAN commitments due to the principle of non-interference and the lack of accountability mechanisms for the commitments. According to her, Indonesia as the 2023 ASEAN chairmanship as well as the largest democracy in the region is very strategic to be able to direct as well as provide concrete examples and commitments to accelerate the implementation of the energy transition.
ASEAN already has a number of commitments to address the impacts of climate change, through accelerating the energy transition, including the ASEAN Plan of Action for Energy Cooperation 2016-2025, the ASEAN Energy Outlook 2017-2040, and the ASEAN Joint Statement on Climate Change COP23.
In the ASEAN Energy Cooperation Plan Phase II 2021-2025, there is a commitment to reduce 25% of greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. In addition, increasing the share of renewable energy to 23% by 2025 of the total primary energy supply. (Hartatik)