Asian and Pacific countries agreed Friday on measures to shape the future of energy use and generation, and to address climate change in a region that consumes more than 40 per cent of the world’s power and generates more than half of global greenhouse gas emissions.
These critical issues were the focus of the third Asian and Pacific Energy Forum (APEF), which closed Friday at the United Nations Conference Centre in Bangkok. This event brought together more than 265 participants from 42 countries, including ministers, senior officials, experts and representatives of international organizations.
“Recent crises have tested us all, resulting in economic shocks, energy supply price rises and supply chain disruptions, all of which have threatened progress on the energy transition and, more broadly, sustainable development,” said Armida Salsiah Alisjahbana, United Nations Under-Secretary-General and Executive Secretary of the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) in her opening remarks.
She added, “These events remind us of the need for energy resilience and security to be considered alongside sustainability. For the energy sector, pursuing better energy efficiency, universal access to modern energy and increasing the share of renewable energy are strategies that can improve our collective ability to weather these shocks and recover better.”
Asia and the Pacific undergoing rapid development is standing at a pivotal moment in the global energy transition. It plays a critical role in securing policies, strategies and initiatives that address energy resilience and security, and progress on Sustainable Development Goal 7 (Affordable and Clean Energy). Across the region, there is a crucial need to close the final gaps in universal electricity access, clean cooking, energy efficiency and renewable energy adoption. Countries also have agreed on a Regional Road Map on Power System Connectivity for creating secure, sustainable and affordable power systems. The Road Map also underscores the importance of multilateral power trading to unlock the flexibility needed to enable the integration of high shares of renewable energy.
“At the heart of this challenge is affordability. Energy must be more accessible and affordable to marginalized and underserved communities,” underscored H.E. Pirapan Salirathavibhaga, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Energy of Thailand.
The Forum culminated in the adoption of a ministerial declaration on “Building a Secure, Sustainable and Interconnected Energy Future for Asia and the Pacific” that will guide the partnership between ESCAP and its member States in addressing these pressing energy challenges towards a sustainable energy future in the region.