15th East Asia Summit of Energy Ministers

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    In context

    • Recently, the Minister of State for Power attended the 15th East Asia Summit of Energy Ministers that was held virtually.

    About

    • The Theme of the meeting was “We Care, We Prepare, We Prosper”.
    • The meeting was aimed at coordinating efforts of ASEAN countries in pursuing the goal of energy security and energy transition.

    Key Highlights of the Meeting

    • India stated that ASEAN is a region of great importance for us. Engagement with ASEAN has been and will remain a critical element of India’s ‘Act East policy and strategy. 
      • Acting East is now a central element in India’s Indo-Pacific vision.
    •  India discussed the energy transition plans, policies, challenges and efforts towards decarbonisation.

    Some of India’s Initiatives towards Decarbonisation

    • India is showing global clean energy leadership through initiatives such as the International Solar Alliance, which has more than 70 member countries.
    • FAME India Scheme
    • National Solar Mission (NSM)
    • Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY)
    • National Hydrogen Mission
    • Waste to Energy Projects
    • Unnat Jyoti by Affordable LEDs for All (UJALA) etc
    • As of now, India is among the world’s top five countries in terms of renewable power capacity. 

    East Asia Summit(EAS)

    About:

    • The concept of East Asia Grouping was first promoted in 1991 by the then Malaysian Prime Minister, Mahathir bin Mohamad. 
    • Established in 2005, it is the Indo-Pacific’s premier forum for strategic dialogue. 
    • It is the only leader-led forum at which all key partners meet to discuss political, security and economic challenges facing the Indo-Pacific.

    Membership:

    • Apart from the 10 ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) member states, the East Asia Summit includes India, China, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Australia, New Zealand, the United States and Russia.
    • ASEAN leads the forum, and the chair position rotates between the ASEAN Member States annually. 
    • India is one of the founding members of the East Asia Summit.

    Image Courtesy: Khmerization

    Importance of East Asia:

    • The eastern region of Asia consists of the Asian nations, Greater China (Greater China consists of the Chinese mainland, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan), Japan, Mongolia, North Korea and South Korea.
    • Economic benefit: It represents nearly 50 per cent of the world’s population with 20 percent of global trade, and comprising 16 nations that are on a dynamic path of economic development.
    • Regional Security: Considering tension on the Korean Peninsula, South China and in the Taiwan Strait, among others, it is vital for Japan, China and South Korea to maintain a common stance and to share a common concern for security in the East Asian region.
    • Global Implications: An East Asia community would play a big role in instilling a sense of responsibility in Asian countries and in leading them jointly in contributing to the resolution of global issues.

    Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) 

    • It is a political and economic organization aimed primarily at promoting economic growth and regional stability among its members.
    • It was founded in 1967 by the five South-East Asian nations of Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand.
      • Brunei Darussalam joined in 1984, Vietnam in 1995, Lao PDR and Myanmar in 1997, and Cambodia in 1999, making up to ten Member States of ASEAN.
    • ASEAN Summit is the highest policy-making body in ASEAN comprising the Head of States or Government of ASEAN Member States.
    •  Summit is held twice annually.
    • The First ASEAN Summit was held in Bali, Indonesia in 1976.

    Act East Asia Policy

    • Announced in November 2014 is a diplomatic initiative to promote economic, strategic and cultural relations with the vast Asia-Pacific region at different levels.
    • It involves intensive engagement with Southeast Asian countries in the field of connectivity, trade, culture, defence and people-to-people-contact at bilateral, regional and multilateral levels.

    Source: PIB