- It is within the reach of East Asia’s governments to maintain economic growth, mitigate climate change, and improve energy security. Through large-scale deployment of energy efficiency and low-carbon technologies East Asia’s CO2 emissions can be stabilized by 2025, the local environment improved and energy security enhanced, without compromising economic growth.
- To achieve this, governments need to take immediate action to transform their energy sectors toward much higher energy efficiency with much more widespread use of low-carbon technologies.
- The shift to a clean energy future requires major domestic policy and institutional reforms. Governments can adopt climate-smart domestic policies now to deploy existing low-carbon technologies while a global climate deal is negotiated. To fully realize the huge energy efficiency potential in the region, a number of actions are needed. Current subsidies to fossil-fuels need to be removed and the costs of local air pollution and CO2 emissions on the environment need to be factored into energy pricing. In addition, measures such as energy efficiency standards and labeling and consumer rebate are needed to overcome market failures and barriers. Finally, financing needs to be made available for energy conservation.
- Under the report’s sustainable energy path scenario, low-carbon fuels for power generation—renewable energy and nuclear—could meet half of the region’s power demand by 2030. Scaling up renewable energy requires putting a price on carbon and providing financial incentives to deploy renewable energy technologies.
- Developed countries need to transfer substantial financing and low-carbon technologies. An estimated $80 billion a year of net additional investment is needed over the next two decades. Of the $80 billion investment need per year, approximately $25 billion a year of concessional financing is needed to cover the incremental costs and risks of energy efficiency and renewable energy. Substantial grants are also needed to build local capacity. The technical and policy means exist for such transformational changes, but only strong political will and unprecedented international cooperation will make them happen.
- The World Bank Group is committed to scaling up policy advice, knowledge sharing, and financing in sustainable energy to help the region’s governments make such a shift. The World Bank needs to increase efforts and focus future Bank EAP energy business on energy efficiency, renewable energy, and new technologies.
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