Regional forums of cooperation among countries are actively taking up matters of sustainable energy as the world looks to turn its attention to the COP21 climate change summit in Paris.
The 21-member states of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) have announced that they would take measures to double the share of renewable energy in the overall energy mix by 2030. The announcement was made at the APEC Energy Ministers’ meeting held in Philippines on 13 October 2015.
The ministers stated that their governments would accelerate and encourage the development of renewable energy technologies. However, they also recognized that several members countries still have developing economies and need to use all technologies to fuel their economic growth. Thus, the joint statement by the ministers also mentions the use of nuclear power, advanced coal-based power, and natural gas-based power technologies.
The ministers further agreed upon implementation of sustainable technologies in the transportation and power generation sectors. The countries agreed to work, subject to individual circumstances, towards achieving the APEC aspirational target of reducing aggregate energy intensity by 45% from 2005 levels by 2035.
It was also noted that the APEC regional economy has grown at an estimated rate of 4% over the last 10 years while the growth in energy consumption has been around 3% during the same period. However, the region has also suffered from grave natural calamities like super typhoons, hurricanes, flash floods, storm surges and droughts, among others. So, in addition to mitigation efforts (like implementation of renewable energy infrastructure) the member states should also take note of rehabilitation and reconstruction programs.
Just days before the APEC Energy Ministers’ meeting, energy ministers from the ASEAN countries also announced the adoption of a target to increase the share of renewable energy in the regional fuel mix to 23% by 2020. The member states have also adopted a target to reduce the region’s greenhouse gas emissions by 20% over a period of 10 years. ASEAN – Association of Southeast Asian Nations – member states include Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.
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