The ASEAN Business Advisory Council, led by Alternate Chair of ASEAN-BAC Bernardino Vega, attended the meeting on ASEAN ESG/Green Energy Pool, at the St. Regis, Kuala Lumpur, on 1 March 2023.
The Pool Initiative was presented by President & CEO Zainudin Ishak of Malaysian Re, the Lead Underwriter. The ARWC is currently chaired by Indonesia Re and was represented by CEO Benny Waworuntu, who delivered the welcome remarks.
An initiative of the ASEAN Reinsurance Working Committee (ARWC), the meeting was organized by AIC Secretary-General Christian W. Wanandi who also delivered the Opening Speech.
The ESG/Green Energy Pool concept was first presented to ARWC members when Mr. Zainudin Ishak became the Chair of ARWC in 2021. This is in response to the joint-commitment of ASEAN to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and Paris Agreement. In addition, the initiative was also spurred by Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM)’s inclusion of a provision in the Composite Risk Rating (CRR) assessment first introduced in 2019 where all financial institutions in Malaysia were required to have a structured program on Environment, Social & Governance (ESG). The national insurers have the duty to lead the ESG initiatives.
In support of this initiative, Ms. Lau Chin Ching, the Director of the Financial Development and Innovation of BNM, participated in the meeting and provided some feedback. The Deputy Director of the Sustainability Unit of BNM, Ms. Suraya Sani, also attended.
The ASEAN-BAC planned an MOU signing with AIC on this ARWC initiative during the ASEAN Summit as part of the Sustainability Development Priority of ASEAN to be held at Labuan Bajo in September 2023.
The ASEAN ESG/Green Energy Facility Initiative fits in with the aim of ASEAN-BAC which is to explore opportunities for collaboration and business agreements across the ASEAN region. At the same time, it fulfils one of the five key priority items for Indonesia’s Chairmanship of ASEAN in 2023, which is Sustainable Development, and two of the seven legacy projects that will drive change and create impact, namely, Net Zero Hub and Carbon Center of Excellence.