A software framework for optimal decarbonisation planning for ASEAN countries

Funded by the British Council’s COP26 Trilateral Research Initiative, we bring academic, industrial and government agencies together to develop a software framework for optimal decarbonisation planning for ASEAN.

Start date

31 March 2021

End date

30 November 2022


Climate change is the gravest threat to humanity’s long-term prosperity and the global co-operation to mitigate this threat is unprecedented. The COP summits aim to accelerate the achievement of the Paris Agreement’s goals.

To achieve these ambitious emissions targets and keep global warming to below 2°C, strategic planning methods for policymaking are essential. These should span entire nations’ emissions contributions, across sectors, and should be able to plan for achievable implementation of emissions reduction technologies, negative emissions technologies, within budgetary, time, and social uptake constraints.

Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries, as developing economies, have seen dramatic rises in CO2 emissions over the past 20 years (e.g. The CO2 per capita of Malaysia has risen from 5 t/y in 2000 to 8 t/y in 2018), and therefore it is important to develop tools that incorporate region-specific conditions.

Learn more about our project:

Trilateral Research Initiative

The project brings together academic partners from United Kingdom (University of Surrey), Japan (University of Tokyo), Malaysia (University of Nottingham Malaysia and Monash University Malaysia), and the Philippines (De La Salle University) to deliver open-source energy planning software to reach the long-term decarbonisation goals of the ASEAN region. Together with industrial partners in Malaysian government, local oleochemical and petrochemical companies, and environmental consultants Aria Sustainability, we are building tools and educating local stakeholders on ways to increase efficiency, digitalise their businesses and plan for net-zero.


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Funding amount




Lead developer

Purusothmn Nair from University of Nottingham Malaysia.

Project partners



The project is funding two workshops in Malaysia. The workshops will involve a first workshop with policymakers in Malaysia from project partner Malaysian Green Technology And Climate Change Centre and any other policymaking experts from ASEAN countries.The workshops were held in June 2022 at Impiana hotel KLCC in Kuala Lumpur.

At the workshops, the project team, involving academic and industrial experts in optimisation, life cycle assessment and energy systems planning presented examples of how to use the software and work together with the potential users to tailor the software towards their specific requirements. 

The second workshop, involved a 2-day workshop where we interact with industrial participants from the local chemical, energy, oleochemical, food, and transport industries. In this workshop the project team will demonstrate the software, explain implications of results on business practices and provide training on how to incorporate state-of-the-art techniques in optimisation and LCA to industrial problems.

We hope that this training and interactions with participants will improve business practices and profitability and is provided free of charge for the industrial partners. This will increase the impact of the work by also introducing modern industrial best-practices to the industries, taught by leading experts. Similarly, these workshops were attended by local engineering professionals and graduate students, giving them an opportunity to learn mathematical optimisation techniques and LCA from the distinguished team. More information on the workshops is below:



The software

The Python-based software is in the early phases of development. At the moment the software is capable of performing detailed carbon emissions planning for the electricity sector at the level of individual power generators to reach targets for emissions reduction and determine the level of negative emissions technologies required to meet certain emissions reduction targets. The software currently uses the open-source algebraic modelling environment, Pyomo (Hart et al., 2020). Please let us know what you think by reaching out to the team on Github or via email.



We have published several papers at conferences and leading journals related to the project and collaboration. Some are given below:






Research themes

Find out more about our research at Surrey: