Hydrocarbons will remain an important element of ASEAN energy mix, Malaysian Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim said, as cost and energy security remain major concerns for the region’s more than 500 million people. Anwar opened the inaugural Energy Asia conference, organized by Malaysia’s state oil firm Petronas (PETRA.UL), by saying that achieving net-zero emissions targets should not come “at the expense of economic growth or vice versa.”
Asia has some of the world’s highest levels of greenhouse gas emissions, and governments have made different commitments to phase out fossil fuels and accelerate energy transitions, while simultaneously expecting substantial financial help from developed polluters. Anwar stated that natural gas would play an essential role in Malaysia’s energy mix, as the country is one of the top five LNG exporters in the world.
In the second part of the year, the government will release two roadmaps outlining the country’s potential for producing hydrogen fuel and carbon capture and storage technology. Scientists stress that while developing new technology is important, reducing emissions is even more important in order to keep the planet from warming more than 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.
Malaysia is also committed to joining a global promise to reduce methane emissions by 30% by 2030 compared to levels in 2020, he said. The summit in Kuala Lumpur is being attended by leaders from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), and CEOs from Saudi Aramco, TotalEnergies, and Vitol. The event brings global energy professionals, companies, and governments together to address ASEAN energy transition.