Celebrating World Sustainable Transport Day 2023 with ASEAN Youth

Jakarta, 4 December 2023 – Today, Ambassador of the European Union to ASEAN, H.E. Sujiro Seam hosted an online talk show for ASEAN youth to discuss the importance of sustainable transport and its role in accelerating the region’s green transition.

Over 286 young people from across the region participated in the lively discussion with Ambassador Seam and the panellists. Ambassador Seam highlighted the EU’s commitment to cut its emission by at least 55% by 2030 and the EU Global Gateway strategy as a tool to accelerate green investments in ASEAN. During the EU-ASEAN Commemorative Summit in 2022, the EU and its Member States announced the commitment of Team Europe to mobilise €10 billion as part of the Global Gateway strategy.

The talk show also featured representatives of EU-funded projects in the region. Ralph Koosmann, representative of the EU-South East Asia Cooperation on Mitigating Climate Change impact from Civil Aviation (EU-SEA CCCA CORSIA) discussed EU-ASEAN cooperation on making the aviation industry more sustainable. ‘We are all responsible. When it comes to reducing the CO2 footprint, It is very much about establishing co-responsibilities’, Koosmann said.

Minna Sanneri, representative of the Enhanced Regional EU-ASEAN Dialogue Instrument (EREADI) project shared key insights from the  recent road safety study initiative in ASEAN Member States in which motorcycles are the dominant vehicle in the region. Findings of the study revealed Southeast Asia as having the highest fatalities of road users and the need for safer infrastructure and behavioural change.

Participants of the talk show shared their experiences on using public transport in their respective countries and how it can be improved.  Fakri Karim, Advisor of the EU-funded Smart Green ASEAN Cities programme highlighted the importance of improving the capacity of cities to finance their own smart solutions. This includes improving smart traffic systems, building more charging stations and developing smart vehicle parking.

Representing ASEAN Youth are Loke Pak Yen, a newly inaugurated EU Youth Sounding Board for International Partnerships from Malaysia and Hans Ryan, Indonesian Awardee of Erasmus Mundus Joint Master Degree in Sustainable Transportation and Electrical Power Systems.“In terms of youth engagement, it is a collective effort, we need to ensure that all voices and perspectives are taken into account by developing inclusive policies.” said Yen.

‘As youth, we can take small steps, [like] choosing to walk instead of riding a motorcycle, and give the local community a different perspective about sustainable transport’, added Ryan.

Ambassador Seam closed the 90 minutes session with a message for ASEAN youth,

‘Sustainable transportation is like life and life is about choices,’ he said. ‘It’s about the choices you make as a citizen, as an individual, as youth. Don’t necessarily go for the easy short-term choice. Be bold and sometimes dare to make the hard choice’ Ambassador Seam concluded.

Launched in 2021, the EU-ASEAN Youth Talk Show aims to increase the EU’s engagement with young people through a regional youth talk series that is held three times each year. By inviting inspiring experts, changemakers, and youth organisations as our speakers so that the youth can learn more about any social, economic, and environmental issues in relation to sustainability development. The talk show serves as a platform for ASEAN youth, as EU and ASEAN believe that youth is a vital agent of change for a better future.

Full recordings of the event can be viewed here

For more information about the event or interview inquiries, please contact: