Even as the Asia‐Pacific region emerges as the new growth centre of the world in the wake of the global economic crisis of 2008, uncertainties over energy security overshadow its development aspirations and prospects. The challenges of energy security are rooted in the region’s overwhelming (80%) dependence on fossil fuels to meet its primary energy consumption. Since most countries of the region are net energy importers, vulnerability to global energy market uncertainties has been a fact of life for decades.
Looking ahead, energy security will continue to dominate policy agendas in the region during the coming decades. It will be a key determinant of the region’s ability to maintain high economic growth rates essential to reduce poverty and achieve the MDGs. At the same time, concerns over the environmental impacts of fossil fuels and their ventual exhaustion will continue to challenge the wisdom of entrusting the region’s evelopment prospects to such a precarious foundation of energy security.