Reality check: Climate finance and energy transitions in the Asia Pacific

Presented by ANU College of Asia & the Pacific

This seminar will share the initial findings of the Climate Finance Initiative’s research in Fiji and Indonesia. Finance is key to the realisation of Fiji’s highly ambitious climate goals in the energy sector: governors (inclusive of state actors, international development partners, the private sector, civil society and community leaders among others) must attract and meaningfully invest vast sums to support these targets. Attracting finance, however, is only one piece of the puzzle. Equally important is translating these funds into meaningful outcomes for the people of Fiji and the environment, as is the ongoing, sustainable delivery of these benefits. To do so, governors must navigate various barriers. These barriers are not equal, nor do they exist in isolation. The process of understanding the nature and relationship between barriers reveals a landscape of complexity. This presentation makes a case for embracing complexity as a first step to delivering more consistently positive climate and community outcomes.

Energy poverty is a key global challenge to tackle. In Indonesia, around 25 million people remain without electricity access, and many of them live in geographically isolated areas and remote places that preclude them from access to the electricity grid. Deploying renewable energy sources in these areas could present an opportunity for a remarkable and rare complementarity between energy security, energy access and climate change mitigation. This seminar examines how energy trilemma plays out in mobilizing private climate finance for renewable rural electrification in Indonesia. Analysis of relevant documents combined with interviews at local and national levels reveals that multiple barriers persist constraining the mobilization of private climate finance to support renewable rural electrification in Indonesia. This, in turn, has led to difficulties with managing the tensions and reaching the complementarity of the three key energy objectives. The presentation will explore the implications of the above issues on the future of energy transitions in the Asia Pacific region.

About the speakers

Abidah Setyowati works broadly on natural resources and climate governance, critical climate change studies, energy governance/access, climate finance, indigenous politics, forest tenure reform and gender perspectives in these issues. Her working areas include Indonesia and other countries in Southeast Asia. She has carried out studies on issues of forest access, biodiversity conservation, indigenous politics and local development as they relate to global climate policies (ie. REDD+ and Payment for Ecosystem Services). Prior to joining ANU, she gained over a decade of professional experience providing advisory works and assignment for various international/multilateral agencies (i.e. USAID, UNDP, UNEP, FAO, UNREDD, DFID, etc) and NGOs.

Kirsty Anantharajah is a lawyer admitted in the Australian Capital Territory. She has a background in administrative law. Kirsty has degrees in Arts and Law (Hons I) from the Australian National University, as well as a Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice. She has a professional background in human rights and gender based rights in South Asia. She is currently a research associate at RegNet. Her research interests are climate change governance in the Pacific region, particularly in Fiji where she spends much of her time.