An effective way to maximize long-term environmental sustainability is to promote more eco-efficient growth. This will mean, for example, fostering eco-efficient energy consumption - in production processes, buildings, transportation and electric appliances. At present, however, in most countries of the region energy efficiency is far below the global average.
Increasing energy efficiency would not only protect the environment and reduce emissions of greenhouse gases, it would also produce significant financial savings. The IEA estimates that, if countries focused on boosting energy efficiency, they could not only reduce global energy demand by 2030 by 10 per cent but also have saved US$560 billion. There would also be lower investment requirements since it has been estimated that every $1 invested on demand-side management of electricity can save more than $2 of investment in the power sector - or almost $3 in developing countries where efficiency is currently much lower.