The Asian Development Bank (ADB), along with its co-organizers the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Korea Energy Agency (KEA), is inviting clean energy practitioners from across the region—including government agencies, private sector, equipment and service providers, financiers, researchers, and other stakeholders—to join the 18th edition Asia Clean Energy Forum (ACEF) 2023 in Manila to be held on 13–16 June 2023. The theme of this year’s ACEF is “Navigating toward a Carbon-Neutral Future through Clean Energy Solutions.”

The context for ACEF 2023 is that over the past couple of years, we have seen the mainstreaming of carbon neutrality, as many countries have committed to net zero targets and have set more ambitious nationally determined contributions (NDCs). The pledges by countries and corporations to carbon neutrality are welcome and represent a revitalization of commitments made through the Paris Climate Agreement. But these decarbonization pledges are often not discussed in a framework that highlights a just energy transition and contributes to the human and social development needs of developing countries.

Indeed, the transition to carbon-neutrality in Asia and the Pacific means more than just shifting to cleaner and renewable resources. It involves providing access to electricity for the approximately 133 million people who currently have no access, many of whom are in rural and isolated areas. It also requires that we deliver affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all, which include the 1.3 billion people relying on traditional use of biomass for cooking in the region (1.5 billion have no access to clean cooking).

Accordingly, ACEF is a forum for clean energy practitioners to come together and share insights into how we take action using clean energy solutions, as we aim for a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific. These solutions support clean energy development that improves energy security, promotes good governance, and encourages private sector participation. It is a must that energy is clean, affordable, reliable, and sustainable for all.

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