Excellencies, Ladies and gentlemen,
The future role of the extractive industries is closely linked to the energy transition.
By accelerating the energy transition and transformation, the extractive industries can be an engine for sustainable development in Asia and the Pacific.
May I take this opportunity to highlight three policy priorities for your consideration:
First, the need to focus on energy transition.
A successful and inclusive energy transition requires that we significantly reduce our reliance on fossil fuels in the coming decade, including the complete phase out of coal.
Moreover, it is critically important that the transition be inclusive, by achieving universal access to modern energy for all by 2030 and affordably by increasing the rate of energy efficiency improvements.
Second, to enable the transition to renewable energy in the region.
A number of countries in the region have set ambitious goals to accelerate the deployment of renewable energy and achieve net-zero emissions in the coming decades.
This is being driven not only by the need to address climate change, but also because renewable technologies like wind and solar are increasingly the lowest cost source of energy available.
However, differences in energy resources endowments at the country level could undermine the acceleration and level of ambition across countries.
Third, to promote cross-border power grid connectivity in our region.
Renewable energy resources are often far from centers of demand. Regional power system integration allows countries to tap into low-cost renewable energy resources across their borders.
We have been providing support to member States on follow up actions, also proposals for going forwards:
At the national level, we are working with member States to develop the SDG 7 roadmap in Indonesia, Fiji, Georgia and Nepal. We will assist 13 more countries this year.
Even more we will support localization of SDG 7 as has been done to support affordable and clean energy in ASEAN cities.
At the regional and subregional levels, the Regional Road Map on Power System Connectivity offers a set of strategies for accelerating the deployment of renewable energy resources across border.
In North-East Asia, for example, we are working with member States to develop the so called “green power corridor”.
Under the guidance of the regional Issue Based Coalition (IBC) on Climate Change Mitigation and Air Pollutions, we worked with Bangladesh and Viet Nam to discuss strategies based on the report “Coal Phase Out and Energy Transition Pathways for Asia and the Pacific”.
For the energy transition to succeed, we also need to include three important components which are increased investments in renewable energy; creation of enabling environments, including the policy frameworks; and facilitation of innovations and transfer of technology.
Finally, at the global level, we work with IRENA and UNEP as co-leads in the Energy Transition Working Group, including to prepare for the High-level Dialogue on Energy to be convened by the Secretary-General at UN General Assembly in September 2021.
Thank you very much.