ADB chief urges Asia to make more efficient use of energy

ADB chief urges Asia to make more efficient use of energy

Asia must use energy more efficiently because the actions of the world’s most populous continent will have a large bearing on climate change, Asian Development Bank president Haruhiko Kuroda said.

“Climate change is a reality that we can no longer ignore and one that we have to take immediate action to mitigate and adapt to,” Kuroda told delegates at the opening of an international “carbon-neutral” conference at the ADB headquarters in the Philippines.

The Japanese banker said that while Asia needs energy to maintain rapid growth and continue cutting poverty, energy production and consumption need to move to a more sustainable path.

He noted that in the 30 years to 2003, Asia’s energy consumption grew by 230 percent compared with the average worldwide increase of 75 percent.

The region includes Japan, the world’s number-two economy, as well as the rapidly growing giants China and India.

As a result, the share of the region’s greenhouse gas emissions has risen from less than one-tenth of global emissions to nearly one quarter, he said.

“Today, the issues surrounding energy conservation, efficiency and security are more important than ever,” he said.

“While Asia’s rapid growth has brought undeniable benefits to the poor, it has also put a serious strain on the environment and on our natural resources, including energy.”

Kuroda said the bank would support activities in renewable energy, energy efficiency, and climate change mitigation and adaptation.

ADB would expand its clean energy projects program to a billion dollars a year and launch a “carbon market initiative” (CMI) to help developing countries address shortages in finance and capacity for adopting cleaner energy technologies.

“We believe the CMI will help shift investment patterns, foster sustainable economic development, and, in the long term, have a positive impact on both energy security and climate change,” Kuroda said.

The ADB said delegates to the conference would do their part by eschewing the use of printers. They would be encouraged to walk to the venue from their hotels.

Delegates would calculate carbon emissions generated by the event and the ADB will then purchase equivalent carbon credits from the market, it added.


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