2021 Asia EDGE Workshop

National Strategies for Clean Energy Transitions in South and Southeast Asia


On October 20-21, NBR hosted the 2021 Asia EDGE Workshop, “National Strategies for Clean Energy Transitions in South and Southeast Asia,” an invitation-only virtual event based out of Washington, D.C. This event was supported by the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Energy Resources as part of a cooperative agreement for NBR’s project on the Asia EDGE initiative.

Amid the Covid-19 pandemic, countries in the Indo-Pacific continued to set ambitious carbon reduction targets in advance of the 26th United Nations climate conference in Glasgow (COP26). As policies in influential markets aim to cut back on investments in fossil fuels, the Indo-Pacific finds itself at the nexus of efforts to address rising energy demand increasingly through renewable sources. Even though some countries are on track to outperform their Paris Agreement pledges and many have made notable progress on increasing the utilization of renewable and other low-carbon energy sources, other countries have had to revise their green goals in response to rising expenditures on public health and current global energy demand and carbon emissions have already begun to surpass levels prior to the Covid-19 pandemic. In the aftermath of COP26, countries in South and Southeast Asia are moving forward with an array of carbon reduction plans, hopeful that there will be additional support from large emitters like the United States, China, India, and Japan.

This workshop featured in-region speakers and expert discussants who explored environmental and energy issues in-depth on a country level and identified critical questions and considered recommendations for adopting a collective approach to regional environmental and energy challenges. To open the workshop, Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy Governance and Access, Kimberly D. Harrington, provided the Keynote Address to frame the panel discussions. The second cohort of Asia EDGE fellows also presented their original research on how key countries in South and Southeast Asia are addressing environmental and energy issues.


“The U.S. government very much recognizes the importance of growth in Asia, energy demand in Asia, and sees Asia as a key region to engage with. As a result, we’re supporting partner governments and expanding access to affordable and reliable clean energy, promoting regional energy security, helping countries decarbonize their economies, and creating open, efficient, and transparent markets.”

Kimberly D. Harrington, Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy Governance and Access


Topics

Thailand: Achieving Carbon Neutrality and Creating Markets for Sustainability

Vietnam: Private Sector Engagement for Renewable Revitalization

Bangladesh: Pathways for a Sustainable Energy Transition

India: Geopolitics of Renewables and Regional Energy Markets

Speakers

Shafiqul Alam, Asia EDGE Fellow, Bangladesh

Jeanne Choi, The National Bureau of Asian Research

Swati Dsouza, National Foundation for India

Clara Gillispie, The National Bureau of Asian Research

Kimberly Harrington, U.S. Department of State

Mirza Sadaqat Huda, Asia EDGE Fellow; OSCE Academy in Bishkek

Rohini Kamal, BRAC Institute of Governance and Development

Ambassador Tariq Karim, Independent University, Bangladesh

Nguyen Anh Tuan, Institute of Energy, Vietnam

Nguyen Linh Dan, Asia EDGE Fellow; Hanoi University of Science and Technology, Vietnam

Rajiv Ratna Panda, Asia EDGE Fellow; Research Triangle Institute Global India Private Limited, South Asia Regional Energy Partnership, India

Nilanthi Samaranayake, CNA

Twarath Sutabutr, Asia EDGE Fellow; Ministry of Energy, Thailand

Niharika Tagotra, Asia EDGE Fellow; Ministry of External Affairs, India

Courtney Weatherby, Stimson Center

Kim Yaeger, US-ASEAN Business Council

Keynote Speaker
Kimberly D. Harrington


Kimberly Harrington is a career member of the Foreign Service with 19 years of diplomatic experience in the Middle East, Latin America, Africa, and Asia. Currently, she is Director for the Bureau of Energy Resources’ Office of Policy Analysis and Public Diplomacy at the State Department, and dual-hatted as Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy Governance and Access. From 2018 to 2020, she served as the Political and Economic Counselor at the U.S. Embassy in Kampala, including five months as acting Deputy Chief of Mission during the COVID-19 pandemic. She was the deputy Economic Counselor in Embassy Bogota from 2014-2018 during the signing and implementation of the historic peace accords that ended 50 years of civil war. Before that, she served as the political-military affairs officer in Jerusalem and worked as a political advisor to the United States Security Coordinator for Israel and the Palestinian Authority, which administered $150 million in annual assistance to the Palestinian security services.

Since joining the Foreign Service in 2002, Kim has also served in overseas assignments in Manila, Cairo, and Tripoli. In tours at the State Department, she worked as a staff assistant in the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs and served in the Office of Innovative Engagement, teaching State Department officials on how to more effectively use social media tools. During a detail at the Pentagon, Kim worked as a Middle East advisor in the Joint Staff’s office of Strategic Plans and Policy (J-5) during the Arab Spring.

Prior to joining the Foreign Service, Kim received a Fulbright scholarship to Amman, Jordan. She was also an assistant producer for the Sunday morning political talk show The McLaughlin Group. Kim received a B.S. in International Politics from Georgetown University’s Walsh School of Foreign Service and studied abroad at the American University in Cairo. During and after university, she worked as a researcher for several Washington, DC-based think tanks specializing in Middle East affairs. In 2021, she received a master’s degree in National Security Studies with a focus on Artificial Intelligence and Emerging Technologies at National Defense University in Washington, DC.

She speaks Arabic, Spanish, and Tagalog and is a 2004 recipient of the Matida W. Sinclair Award for excellence in the study of a hard language and its associated culture. She is married to a USAID Foreign Service Officer, and they have two young children.