Developing economies and expanding urban populations in East Asia have seen energy consumption trebled and it will likely continue to rise – the World Bank suggests that renewable energy could in fact contribute a large chunk of the load! But China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam must act now and focus on the transformation, the new World Bank report “A Climate for change in East Asia and the Pacific” states.
Those six major energy-using countries have to invest about $80 billion a year and need appropriate domestic policies and institutional reforms in order to attain a sustainable energy growth. The good news is that the report finds that those countries can stabilize their greenhouse gas emissions by 2025 as well as create growth through additional fiscal investment in renewable energy and energy efficiency.
$25 billion of the total investment will have to be taken on by the international community, with China paying a big chunk of the investment, Dr. Xiaodong Wang, lead author of the report and senior energy specialist at the World Bank said.
At a discussion in Manila Ms. Wang identifies the speed and scale of urbanization as an opportunity unrivalled to built modern, low-carbon cities. But the crucial moment is now, the report stresses that the window of opportunity is closing fast, and relevant decisions and investments have to made now, or else get stuck in an high-carbon infrastructure!
The WBR (World Bank Report) says ACT NOW, ACT TOGETHER and ACT DIFFERENTLY. Act Now stresses the fact that what we do today shapes tomorrow’s climate and limits the choices that will be available in the future. New technologies that are piloted today could determine the future energy and food sources of growing populations. Smart urban planning, with an integrated transport system, clean energy supply and green buildings are the right way! Act together addresses rich countries that must take the lead by reducing their own carbon footprints at home and by helping developing countries to finance adaptation to climate change. International support is crucial to protect the most vulnerable people with social assistance programs, to promote the exchange of knowledge, technology and information and to provide financial assistance. Act differently focuses on planning for the future. In the next few decades, the world’s energy systems must be transformed so that global emissions drop will 50–80%. Infrastructure must be built to cope with new climate extremes. Agricultural productivity and water management need to improve to feed 3 billion more people without further threatening already stressed ecosystems.
The World Bank recommends a mix of energy pricing reforms, financial incentives and regulations such as economy-wide energy intensity targets.
The World Bank tells the international community to help developing nations through soft loans and technology transfer. The report concludes that the East Asia and Pacific region and the rest of the world must act now, act together, and act differently, before costs go up and people suffer unnecessarily.