Failure to address energy security will require developing Asia to scale back
its economic ambitions and forgo the prospect of a green future
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has urged developing Asia’s governments to rethink their energy policies as rapid
economic growth poses new challenges.
“As Asians become more affluent, managing demand by tackling outmoded [energy] subsidies so prices reflect true costs, exploring green innovations in technology and prudent infrastructure design, and changing behaviour will be crucial to achieving security.
Another focus should be “expanding both renewable and non-renewable sources in an environmentally sound and cost-effective manner”, the ADB said in a recent report.
Without radical changes to the region’s energy mix, oil consumption will double, natural gas consumption will triple, and coal consumption will increase by 81%, the bank added.
This would double carbon dioxide emissions to nearly 24 billion tonnes per year by 2035, which is more than the 22 billion tonnes experts see as the maximum sustainable emissions for the whole world. “What is missing is the political commitment,” the ADB stressed.