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Asia-Pacific needs to take bold action on energy sector

Louisse Maureen Simeon (The Philippine Star) - June 18, 2021 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Manila-based Asian Development Bank (ADB) is urging economies in Asia Pacific to address climate change through changes in the energy sector, especially as the region recovers from the pandemic.

During the opening of the Asia Clean Energy Forum, ADB president Masatsugu Asakawa said Asia-Pacific must take bold actions and commit to achieve the emission reduction goals under the Paris Agreement.

“This while ensuring universal energy access in a region where more than 200 million people still lack access to electricity,” he said.

The region accounts for nearly 40 percent of the world economy but it is also responsible for around 80 percent of the world’s coal consumption and up to 60 percent of carbon emissions.

The ADB chief said major changes in the energy sector should include avoidance of fossil fuels and switching to low-carbon fuels and the deployment of more renewable energy.

Countries should also improve energy efficiency, reduce final energy demand, and incentivize investment in low-carbon technologies.

“Broad commitment across the region, along with tailored, country-level support from development partners, will be needed to meet the goal of limiting global warming to no more than two degrees above pre-industrial levels,” Asakawa said.

“This effort must include addressing the special challenges of disadvantaged communities and the need of women for modern, clean, and affordable energy, and for sustainable livelihood,” he said.

Countries in the region that have pledged carbon-neutrality are China, Fiji, Japan, Korea, Maldives, Marshall Islands, Singapore and Timor-Leste.

However, more countries have yet to signify their commitment to carbon-neutrality.

ADB is targeting to focus 75 percent of its operations on climate adaptation and mitigation. The multilateral lender will also provide at least $80 billion in climate financing until 2030, or an average of about $6.6 billion annually.

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