Energy transition is being made in Asia

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The effects of the war in Ukraine are not slowing, but if anything accelerating, a process of historic dimensions

478.7 billion dollars of sustainable bonds outstanding at the end of the first quarter of 2022 among ASEAN and East Asia, an expansion of 51.3 percent year-on-year. Record issuances of green, social and sustainable debt (so-called GSS bonds) in 2021 totaling $24 billion across the six largest ASEAN economies, up 76 percent from $13.6 billion in 2020. These are some of the numbers of Southeast Asia's "green" race, reflected in economics, politics and finance. ASEAN and East Asia account for 18.1 percent of sustainable bonds outstanding globally, behind only Europe. Two regions that believe strongly in energy transition. A process that in ASEAN has not been slowed down, but if anything sped up by the war in Ukraine and its side effects. The need to increase the weight of alternative energy sources has never been more evident. Singapore has announced that government agencies will issue up to $35 billion in green bonds by 2030. The purpose is to finance green infrastructure projects and to disincentivize the use of private transportation. Thailand began issuing sustainable bonds at a rapid pace in 2020, mainly to aid recovery from the pandemic. Since then, total issuance of sustainable bonds by the government and state-owned enterprises has reached $3.5 billion. The Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia are also moving in the same direction. But the tension toward energy transition is also seen in the choices of governments and investors. Vietnam has just approved a program that includes restrictions on the production and import of fossil-fuel vehicles, with the goal of achieving a zero-emissions industry by 2050. By then, all vehicles on the road will have to use green energy or be electric. Even the rail network will have to be entirely converted. Atlas Capital, a venture capital firm in the climate technology sector, and many other regional or international companies are raising funds to invest in projects related to the environment or energy transition in Southeast Asia. A trend that looks set to accelerate more and more.

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