The ACEF Daily Broadcast: Exclusive Clean Energy Updates from Asia - Report on Day 4
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10 June 2016
Dear Clean Energy Colleague,
Day 4 of ACEF 2016 built on the 2015 landmark achievements of the COP21 Paris Agreement and the launch of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The morning plenary brought together a panel of climate and energy experts to discuss the role that clean energy will play in driving progress toward Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs). Bambang Susantono, Vice President, Knowledge Management and Sustainable Development at ADB opened the plenary, expressing that “clean energy will be central to moving us from the present, to a low-carbon pathway to the future”. 

Manish Bapna, Executive Vice President and Managing Director of World Resources Institute (WRI) delivered keynote remarks, outlining accomplishments and commitments made at COP21. Bapna noted that “The essential role of ACEF at this point in history is to help us explain how we can get implementation of the climate targets right.”

The panel that followed addressed how different levels of commitments made by 189 countries will affect the formulation of national policies, infrastructure development, and investment.

Yongping Zhai, Senior Advisor, Office of the Director General, Sustainable Development and Climate Change Department, Asian Development Bank, moderated the panel discussion and asked:
  1. What are the top challenges and opportunities faced by countries in implementation of their NDCs?
  2. What kind of support and a framework for donors could be provided to ensure successful implementation of NDCs; and specifically to ensure that NDCs become strategic reference points in planning and program/project implementation at national level?
  3. How can international organizations such as the ADB support countries in their implementation of NDCs?
Yongping Zhai, Emmanuel de Guzman, Leena Srivastava, Mario Sander, Jerry Bisson, Preety Bhandari (L to R) panelists at the NDC Plenary
Each of the panelists then provided their insights based on their experiences:

Emmanuel de Guzman, Vice Chairperson, Philippine Climate Change Commission
“A forum is gathering right now to work on contribution planning in Philippines, at a local government level, gathering data to determine what is being done locally, feeding in to national targets. INGOs and NGOs play an important role in sensitizing our communities about how to create a transformation to a clean energy economy creating green jobs, sensitizing financial institutions to invest in RE and reduce investment in fossil fuels.”

Manish Bapna, Executive Vice President and Managing Director, World Resources Institute (WRI)
“WRI is working with donors and developing countries to set up an NDC Partnership to help countries more easily navigate the technical and financial resources that are available for climate action.”

Leena Srivastava, Vice-Chancellor, TERI University
“In the India context, there are challenges in achieving scale, and there is action taking place on the ground. We are pushing towards ambitious goals in renewable energy, but financing is an issue that must be addressed.”

Mario Sander, Executive Director, Asian Development Bank
“One of my key messages is that an industrialized country with no natural resources [Germany] can lead the way on ambitious climate targets and still remain competitive.”

Jerry Bisson, Director, Technical Services Office, USAID Asia Bureau,
U.S. Agency for International Development
“Through its Enhancing Capacity for Low Emission Development Strategies (EC-LEDS) program, the United States partnered with 26 countries to develop and implement robust climate change mitigation and development strategies. This work helped to lay the foundation for NDC commitments. For example, USAID partnered with the Philippines Climate Change Commission to identify mitigation options across the energy, forestry, agriculture, and waste sectors as part of the country’s INDC …  USAID's  focus now, post-Paris, is helping countries turn those pieces of paper, the NDC targets, into real action. We are looking across the globe to see how our programs and technical expertise can support implementation … USAID looks forward to partnering with our counterparts in developing Asia to reduce GHG emissions and the impacts of climate change.”

Preety Bhandari, Director Climate Change and Disaster Risk Management, Asian Development Bank
“ADB has committed $2 billion annually for adaptation, and it is critical that we build resilience in the context of NDCs. In 2015, for the first time, ADB's investments in EE overtook its investments in RE as part of its $3 billion clean energy portfolio.”
Panelists speaking in the plenary session on NDCs.
Clockwise from top left: Yongping Zhai, ADB; Emmanuel de Guzman,
Philippines Climate Change Commission; Leena Srivastava, TERI University; Preety Bhandari, ADB; Jerry Bisson, USAID; Mario Sander ED to ADB; Manish Bapna, WRI.
Thematic Track Sessions
Day 4 of ACEF continued with the Thematic Track sessions. As a follow-up to the plenary on NDCs in the morning, Session 8 focused on how to effectively implement NDCs in Asia-Pacific countries by translating the commitments into action on the ground. Below are some of key remarks from panelists during this session:

Athena Ronquillo-Balesteros, Director, Finance Center, World Resources Institute
“There are 150 donor initiatives in the area of climate change. The issues of donor coordination of climate plan support are critical and if not solved will overwhelm the bandwidth of officials responsible for implementation. We need an inventory of existing support mechanisms tools, partnerships, and initiatives”

Ashok Sarkar, Senior Energy Specialist, Energy & Extractives Global Practice, The World Bank
“We are moving from the "what" and "why", to the "how" part of the solution.  We need to figure out how to actually deliver results … EE investments need to increase 4.3x current levels in order to meet the 2030 climate targets.”

Marian Van Pelt, Vice-President, ICF International
“USAID is supporting countries to implement their climate plans (NDCs) with a focus on transparency, ambition and amplification … USAID has developed CLEER a protocol and suite of calculations that establish a standardized methodology for determining GHG reductions … This week, USAID issued a white paper evaluating the transparency and goals of countries's NDC plans for mitigation and adaptation.”
At the podium: Marian Van Pelt, ICF International. Panel from left to right: Ashok Bhargava, ADB; Athena Ronquillo-Ballesteros, WRI; Ashok Sarkar, World Bank; Jorn Brommelhorster, ADB.
The chairs of the other sessions in the thematic tracks also made opening remarks to help frame the discussions that took place. Here are some of their remarks regarding the thematic track sessions they chaired:
Nicola Armacost, Chair for Session 7:
Business Models for Access that Spur Innovation, Managing Director, Arc Finance
“Over the past 3 days we have repeatedly heard that the key success factor in expanding energy access is financing that is targeted at scalable solutions. To get results, we need to identify business models that actually work in practice and drill down on which models are most poised to achieve scale. We need to define scale and take the term seriously. We need to clarify which business models are replicable and we need to be clear about which market segments are most likely to benefit from the proposed solutions. All of this is necessary to truly increase energy access.”
Sam Tumiwa, Chair for Session 12: Smart Cities: Perspectives on the Clean Energy Transition, Principal Energy Specialist, Energy Division, Central and West Regional Department, Asian Development Bank
“One of the fundamental problems with development work, including ADB's structure, is that we are divided into sector siloes such as energy, water, and transport. I think given the challenges of this region, the greatest being rapid urbanization, we need to break out of this approach and work more on a integrated, spatial basis.”
ADB Pacific Department Side Event - Small Grids: Towards 100% Renewable Energy
ACEF 2016 addressed the unique set of circumstances facing the Pacific Region’s energy sector.  Clean energy technology experts, utility stakeholders, and representatives from ADB and JICA shared case studies and lessons learned from experiences implementing small grid and renewable energy projects in Asia and the Pacific. Panelists considered how regional characteristics—such as geographical isolation, low economies of scale, and limited availability of fossil fuel resources—can affect market conditions for implementing renewable energy and small grid systems. Subsequent discussion considered how public and private collaboration can be used to stimulate investment, and to develop and replicate sustainable business models for island nations.

Knowledge Networking
There were 22 speakers at the Knowledge Networking session at ACEF 2016.  The dynamic, 90-minute session was in a “speed dating” format, with 8 minute “pitch and discussion” sessions followed by two minute, music-filled intervals for participants to rotate to the next table of their choice. This was our second year using this more freewheeling format, and while the feedback from presenters and participants was overwhelmingly positive, we welcome suggestions on what we can do at the next ACEF to improve the experience.
Project Highlight: One of the projects showcased by Anne Marie Velas-Suarin was the Sky Bike Lanes proposal ―to make metro Manila greener and safer for bikers. Anne Marie shared her vision for a Manila with cleaner air, less chaotic traffic and a safe cycling pathways, integrating green transport and clean energy. The study proposed would calculate the expected reduction in motorized traffic volume and GHG emissions as well as health and economic impacts. For more information visit: See LinkedIn: meivelas. Complete the survey
Mary Anne Velas-Suarin, shares her vision and dream of a cleaner, safer, greener Metro Manila with the Sky Bike Lanes.
Piya Kerdlap, Jessica Pelham, and Peter du Pont (From L to R) officially kicking off the Knowledge Networking session.
Peter du Pont, USAID and ACEF Co-Chair (left) and Mark Lister, E4All Global Energy Efficiency Accelerator and Copenhagen Center for Energy Efficiency strategize on a bright future for energy efficiency in Asia, and Rachel Kyte's marching orders to "Put Efficiency First."
ACEF 2016 Knowledge Networking session had a turnout of more than 100 participants
ACEF 2016 participants continuing the discussions at the ADB cocktail reception

NEW SIDE EVENT: Roundtable on Effective Regulation for Clean Energy in Southeast Asia
ADB’s Office of General Counsel, in cooperation with USAID, is organizing a Regulatory Roundtable that will bring together senior officials from energy regulatory agencies across Southeast Asia, who are attending the Asia Clean Energy Forum. The officials will discuss the impediments they encounter in the conduct of their regulatory functions, and the major issues they are focusing on related to clean energy. The roundtable discussion aims to identify common issues faced by regulators in the ASEAN region, particularly in light of the recent COP21 climate agreement and the imperative to promote dramatic increases in energy efficiency and renewable energy. 

Time: Friday, 10 June 2016, 9:00AM – 10:30AM
Location: Multi-function Hall 2, New Atrium

Thematic Tracks
The final day of ACEF will start off with a morning of parallel track sessions covering EE, RE, access, and energy futures issues.  There will be a total of 8 track sessions, with Sessions 17-20 held from 9:00 – 10:30 am; and then Sessions 21-24 held from 11:00 am – 12:30 pm.

[Note: there is a typo in the printed program with incorrect times for Sessions 21-24: these sessions will be starting at 11:00 am.]

Closing Plenary
The Closing Plenary is entitled What's Next: Robust and Resilient Solutions for Asia's Clean Energy Future. ADB Vice-President Stephen Groff will provide a wrap-up report from the discussions in the Thematic Track sessions over the past three days, with an emphasis on key issues and lessons learned, identified, and emerging trends and opportunities for Asia’s clean energy practitioners. This will be followed by a discussion with a diverse panel of clean energy leaders covering the non-profit, development, and business sectors, moderated by VP Groff.  Panelists will be asked to reflect on discussions during the week and to highlight some of the key short- and medium term opportunities they see going forward in the development of the energy sector, as we move into the intensive implementation and monitoring phase following the agreements made at COP 21.

Following the panel discussion, Prof. Ralph Sims, who delivered an engaging and entertaining keynote  at last year’s ACEF on the water-food-energy nexus will discuss the aftermath of the Paris Climate Agreement.  While the agreement is a powerful driver for the world to move towards a low-carbon economy, every country will need to play its part in moving away from fossil fuels. Is achieving net zero emissions soon after mid-century achievable, or a dream beyond reach?

After this keynote speech, ACEF will continue the tradition of having a raffle draw and giving away free iPads to a lucky few. We will have a raffle draw for 10 iPads! Entrance to the raffle requires that participants complete the ACEF 2016 evaluation form! These iPads are proudly sponsored by Transcendergy LLC and CTC Global. Please hand in your form before the lunch break to receive your raffle ticket.

The Forum will conclude with closing remarks from two of the core ACEF organizers, WRI and ADB. Below is the line-up of the speakers in the closing plenary.

Report back on ACEF sessions: Stephen Groff, Vice President (Operations 2), Asian Development Bank
Panel Discussion
  • Moderator: Stephen Groff, Vice President (Operations 2), Asian Development Bank
  • Athena Ronquillo-Ballesteros, Director, Finance Center, World Resources Institute
  • Aurelia Micko, Deputy Director, Regional Environment Office, USAID Regional Development Mission for Asia
  • Soma Dutta, Programme Coordinator, Women's Economic Empowerment Programme, ENERGIA, International Network on Gender and Sustainable Energy, India
  • Edwin Lerch, Head of System Dynamics, SIEMENS AG, Germany
  • Yongping Zhai, Senior Advisor, Office of the Director General, Sustainable Development and Climate Change Department, Asian Development Bank
Keynote Address: Ralph Sims, Professor of Sustainable Energy/Director, Massey University / Centre for Energy Research
Closing Remarks:
  • Manish Bapna, Executive Vice-President and Managing Director, World Resources Institute
  • Yongping Zhai, Senior Advisor, Office of the Director General, Sustainable Development and Climate Change Department, Asian Development Bank
Priyantha Wijayatunga
Asian Development Bank
Peter du Pont
Climate Change Team Lead
USAID Regional Development Mission Asia
For more information and updates on ACEF 2016, go to our website at:

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