World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


Asia’s Future Prosperity Requires Major Change in Energy Use

Asia’s Future Prosperity Requires Major Change in Energy Use

Hong Kong, China, 9 April 2013 – Asia is moving along a dangerously unsustainable energy path that will result in environmental disaster and a gaping divide in energy access between rich and poor unless the region dramatically changes course, says a new Asian Development Bank (ADB) report.

“Asia could be consuming more than half the world’s energy supply by 2035, and without radical changes carbon dioxide emissions will double,” said ADB Chief Economist Changyong Rhee. “Asia must both contain rising demand and explore cleaner energy options, which will require creativity and resolve, with policymakers having to grapple with politically difficult issues like fuel subsidies and regional energy market integration.”

Asia’s Energy Challenge, the special theme chapter in ADB’s Asian Development Outlook 2013 (ADO 2013) released today, highlights the complex balancing act the region faces to deliver energy to all its citizens while scaling back its reliance on fossil fuels.

If by 2035 Asia merely expands energy access without fundamentally changing the way it consumes, the report predicts the region’s oil consumption will double, natural gas consumption will triple, and coal consumption will rise a whopping 81%, with costly and devastating environmental impacts.

Asia’s limited indigenous energy resources present an additional challenge. With only 9% of proven global oil reserves, the region is currently on track to almost triple oil imports by 2035, rendering it significantly more vulnerable to external supply shocks.

In Asia, 1.8 billion people still rely on wood and other traditional fuel as their primary energy source. Since modern energy access is essential for their social and economic advancement, Asia must find the political will and innovation to scrap outdated policies and recalibrate its energy mix. For one, policymakers will need to replace general fuel subsidies that artificially lower the cost of power and impose huge fiscal burdens with targeted subsidies for the poor. The report suggests eliminating wasteful subsidies worldwide would also lower CO2 emissions by 2.6 billion tons in 2035.

Carefully designed support for renewable energy technologies must be stepped up. Next generation wind, solar and biofuel technologies, which are expected to be more cost competitive than current options and do not compete with food crops, offer potential solutions.

Asia has great potential in shale gas, with the PRC having the world’s largest endowment. But technical uncertainties such as leakage and water contamination must be addressed. The Fukushima disaster powerfully underscored the risks of nuclear power, but a phase out would see a sharp spike in fossil fuel use. A far greater focus on green, energy efficient cities and transport systems, along with scaled up research into clean energy, are equally critical.

Countries cannot meet all their power requirements on their own, so Asia must accelerate cross-border interconnection of power and gas grids to improve efficiency, cut costs, and take advantage of surplus power. With increased cooperation, a pan-Asia energy market is achievable by 2030, the report says.

Ensuring the poor are not left out will require policies to secure an adequate energy floor for low income earners, and the development of effective off-grid power supply options for remote communities. Narrowing the energy divide between richer and poorer countries requires targeted international aid to build power infrastructure which benefits the less well off.

ADB, based in Manila, is dedicated to reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth and regional integration. Established in 1966, it is owned by 67 members – 48 from the region. In 2012, ADB assistance totaled $21.6 billion, including cofinancing of $8.3 billion.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 


Signs Of Ebola Decline In Liberia Offer ‘Glimmer Of Hope’

Equipped with UNICEF-developed and Government-approved awareness materials, these girls go door-to-door in West Point, Monrovia, to educate their parents, family members and friends about Ebola and how it can be prevented. Photo: UNICEF/UNI171713/Griggers More>>

ALSO:

Allegations Of Misreporting By Joint Darfur Mission

Ban ‘Deeply Troubled’ by Findings of Review of Allegations of Misreporting by Joint Darfur Mission More>>

Status Quo Not Viable Option’ In Jerusalem

Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman briefs the Security Council at its meeting on the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe More>>

ALSO:

  • ITUC - Israel’s Settlement Expansion is an Outrage
  • World News: No To TPP Trade-Offs

    No to TPP Trade-Offs, Say Public Health, Fair Trade Activists at Sydney TPP Ministers’ Meeting More>>

    ALSO:

  • AFTINET - Fair Trade Group Calls for Release of TPP Text
  • Al Jazeera Interpol Rejects Egypt Request For Red Notice On Journalist

    Interpol, the international organisation for police cooperation, has rejected a request from Egypt to issue one of its red notices against Ahmed Mansour, an Al Jazeera journalist. More>>

    UN-Backed Study: Fruit Flies To Prompt Better Pest Controls

    Bactrocera dorsalis is causing “incalculable damage to horticultural industries and food security” across a swathe of countries in Asia, Africa, the Pacific and parts of South America. Photo: IAEA/Viwat Wornoayporn More>>


    ‘The Only Way To Stop Ebola Is At Its Source’ – UN Chief

    Girls in the city of Voinjama look at a poster that displays information and illustrations about how to prevent the spread of Ebola. Photo: UNICEF/2014/Liberia/Jallanzo More>>

    ALSO:

  • Christian World Service - CWS appeals for help to Stop Ebola
  • UN: Multi-Billion Dollar Horn Of Africa Pledge

    UN’s Ban, Global Leaders Join Forces in Multi-Billion Dollar Horn of Africa Pledge More>>


     
     
     
     
     
    World
    Search Scoop  
     
     
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news