Following numerous global scientific studies and major international agreements, the decarbonization of energy systems is an apparent and pressing concern. The consequence of continued emission growth tied to rising global average temperatures is difficult to predict, but against a background of other natural and human-induced disasters, may create a situation, from a positive perspective, where each disaster event triggers “build back better” responses designed to speed the transition toward low carbon, resilience-oriented energy systems. This article examines the potential for disaster-triggered responses in communities, at various local and regional levels, in four industrial economies in the Asia Pacific region: Japan, China, Australia, and the USA. Seven case studies were evaluated against a set of criteria that exemplify the key aspects of resilient energy systems. The research results suggest that a new space of innovation does emerge in post-disaster situations at a range of local and regional scales. The greatest potential benefit and opportunity for significant gains, however, appears to manifest at the small community level, and the ultimate challenge relates to how to mainstream local innovations into state and national level transformation on energy systems so as to enhance resilience and promote rapid decarbonization.