14 Jun 2021
The Senior Officials Meeting on Energy (SOME) and Its Associated
Meetings held its 39th iteration via a virtual platform from 14th to
17th June 2021 at the International Convention Centre (ICC), Berakas.
Hosted by Brunei Darussalam as the 2021 ASEAN Chair, the meeting
was presided by Yang Mulia Pengiran Haji Jamra Weira bin Pengiran Haji
Petra, the Deputy Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Energy as the
Senior Official on Energy Leader for Brunei Darussalam while His
Excellency Victor Jona, the Senior Official on Energy Leader of
Cambodia, acts as the vice chair.
The meeting was virtually attended by ASEAN Member States (AMS),
Dialogue Partners and International Organisations. During the
proceedings, the AMS Senior Officials on Energy (SOE) Leaders provided
updates on activities of the ASEAN Plan of Action for Energy Cooperation
(APAEC) as it embarks onto Phase II for the year 2021 – 2025. The Phase
II aspires for higher targets and new initiatives to enhance energy
transition and resilience towards a sustainable energy future, taking
into consideration the COVID-19 impacts and its recovery plans, trends
in global economy and energy, cross-cutting issues such as climate
change and low-carbon emission, inclusion of private sectors through
business forum activities as well as new and emerging technologies and
digitalization in the energy sector.
The meeting also introduced the Five Brunei-Led Initiatives, one
of which is the ‘Bandar Seri Begawan Declaration on Energy Security and
Energy Transition’, as part of the Priority Economic Deliverables under
Brunei Darussalam’s ASEAN Chairmanship. The declaration speaks of ASEAN
commitment to strengthen relations and cooperation towards a more
dynamic and resilient ASEAN economy, enhanced connectivity and narrowing
the development gap between the ASEAN Member States. The declaration
also seeks to enhance cooperation with ASEAN Dialogue Partners,
International Organisations and external partners to address common
sustainable economic development challenges for the collective benefit
of the region and beyond. In recognizing the pressing demands of climate
change on the energy sector, the declaration looks to address the
matter in accordance to ASEAN’s common but with differentiated
responsibilities and respective capabilities.
Other Brunei-Led Initiatives also include 1) the Concept Paper
on ASEAN Ministers on Energy Meeting (AMEM) – Wide Education and
Training Exchanges on the Role of Natural Gas in Advancing a Low Carbon
Energy Transition; 2) the Concept Paper on Energy Establishments and
Climate Change Organisation Cooperation on Energy Issues; and 3) the
Concept Paper on Establishing ASEAN Energy Interaction Programmes, in
addition to 4) Workshops on Hydrogen Economy and Carbon Capture
Utilisation and Storage.
The associated meetings that took place alongside the 39th SOME
include the 20th Senior Official Meeting on Energy Plus Three (SOME +
3), the Senior Officials Meeting on Energy Dialogue with International
Renewable Energy Agency (SOME – IRENA Dialogue), the Senior Officials
Meeting on Energy Dialogue with International Energy Agency (SOME – IEA
Dialogue), the 12th SOME – US, Special AGC Meeting, the 22nd SOME –
METI, the 26th East Asia Summit Energy Cooperation Task Force (EAS ECTF)
as well as the 12th SOME – Russia.
The outcome of 39th SOME and Its Associated Meetings will be
reported for consideration to the upcoming 39th ASEAN Ministers on
Energy Meeting (AMEM) and Its Associated Meetings, scheduled to be held
in September 2021.