The Business Times-A Singapore-based social enterprise is criticising two sets of South-east Asian transition finance guidelines as adopting Japan’s “aggressive” stance on fossil fuel-based technologies that are unsuitable for this region.

The issue highlights a fundamental uncertainty for the fossil fuel-dependent region as it tries to transition to a more sustainable footing: What should be allowed to access energy transition financing?

The report by Asia Research and Engagement (ARE), released on Thursday (Mar 2), took aim at guidelines issued by Jakarta-based Economic Research Institute for Asean and East Asia (ERIA) and by the Asia Transition Finance Study Group (ATFSG) in September 2022. ERIA’s guideline was titled “Technology List and Perspectives for Transition Finance in Asia”, while ATFSG’s was called the “Asia Transition Finance Guidelines”.

ERIA, a think tank, was formed following a consultation between the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) economic ministers and Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry in 2006. ATFSG, led by banks, was established in 2021 under the Japan-led Asia Energy Transition Initiative as a private sector initiative.

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