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RSIS-FES Conference on
Energy Security in Southeast Asia and beyond – from Competition to Cooperation? Civil Society’s Stake in Asia’s and Europe’s Energy Policy
20-22 October 2009

The Centre for Non-Traditional Security Studies, of the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies in Nanyang Technological University, in partnership with the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung Office for Regional Cooperation in Asia hosted a conference titled “Energy Security in Southeast Asia and Beyond – from Competition to Cooperation? Civil Society’s Stake in Asia’s and Europe’s Energy Policy” from 20 to 22 October 2009 in Singapore. This event was particularly timely, in view of the twin-pillared global energy challenges Asia and Europe are currently facing, namely increasing energy consumption needs and climate change. The conference served as a common platform for policymakers and civil society organisation (CSO) representatives from Asia and Europe, specialising in the field of energy security, to discuss pertinent issues and share regional insights related to the roles of CSOs in energy policymaking processes.

A sustainable, low-carbon, development path can no longer operate without taking into account the increasingly important roles of CSOs in the energy policymaking process. Ultimately, CSOs strive to improve governance through the empowerment of the general public; enhancement of government transparency and accountability; and to complement states’ capacities in providing energy security to the people. CSOs’ involvement in the field of energy security, revolving around “3As” – awareness, action and advocacy – was a recurring theme throughout the conference. The conference also served to highlight the continued relevance and significance of increased CSO engagement in energy security.

In general, participants agreed that CSOs would play an increasing role in energy security in the foreseeable future, especially in Asia where governance deficits in some countries had more often than not obstructed effective energy policymaking. In the later part of the conference, participants engaged in lively brainstorming sessions on the trajectory of CSOs’ activities in the field of energy security and mapped out ideas which could better position CSOs in augmenting the governments’ roles in energy policymaking. Interesting initiatives, from seeking ways to forge an integrated framework for CSOs involved in energy policymaking to advocating local energy self-reliance at community levels, were thoughtfully conceived by the participants.

Click here for the briefing paper on the outcomes of the conference.

Please click on the links below for the presentations delivered at the conference