Energy Resources Development Series 41: Low-carbon Development Path for Asia and the Pacific Challenges and opportunities to the Energy Sector

Energy Resources Development Series 41: Low-carbon Development Path for Asia and the Pacific Challenges and opportunities to the Energy Sector

Date: 
Friday, December 31, 2010
Type: 
Flagship publications and book series
Abstract

Climate change is one of the greatest environmental issues of our time and the Asia-Pacific region is already experiencing its adverse impacts. Studies suggest that the costs of inaction on reducing the consumption of fossil fuels, the main source of climate change, would be many times the costs of action. This report stresses the need to take decisive steps quickly to get the developing countries in this region on course to make inroads in the global effort to combat climate change and achieve sustainable development and green growth. The course of action is a low-carbon development path. The energy system is the main contributor to climate change, representing a predominate share of total greenhouse (GHG) emissions and consequently the effort to tackle climate change has become a major driver of energy policy. The current level of emissions from fossil fuels, are unsustainable and threaten the environment on both local and global scales. Reducing the carbon intensity of energy emitted per unit of energy consumed is a key objective in reaching long- term climate goals. As long as the primary energy mix is biased towards fossil fuels, this would be difficult to achieve. Specific all, the Asia-Pacific region is in dire need of transitioning to a low-carbon future. It has only around 3.3 per cent of the world’s proven oil reserves and, this is the reason that economies are heavily dependent on imports with no let up expected in the foreseeable future and relies on fossil fuels to meet energy needs. This is also exacerbated by a number of forecasts that indicate energy demand will continue to grow with some estimates showing that the region will surpass the rest of the world in terms of global energy demand.

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