ADB President Calls for “Radical Steps” on Clean Energy

Leaders in government, business, policy and nongovernmental organizations are gathering this week for the 6th Asia Clean Energy Forum in Manila, Philippines. According to the Asian Development Bank, 800 million people in Asia live without access to electricity and a significant push is needed to fast-track new business models and policies for clean energy development. With over 550 participants from 40 countries in attendance, ACEF is being organized the World Resources Institute, the United States Agency for International Development, and ADB to promote efforts to scale up clean energy in Asia and the Pacific.

“Asia is poised to be a world leader in clean energy that can propel the regional economy, while increasing its energy security,” said Manish Bapna, executive vice president and managing director, WRI. “In order to achieve its clean energy potential, leaders in Asia need to make the right policy decisions and increase their investment in clean energy. This forum will inform this important dialogue on Asia’s energy future.”

The year's forum, from June 22 - 24, will focus on “New Business Models and Policy Drivers: Building the Low-Carbon Future,” including discussions around best practices in energy policy and regulation, financing and investment, innovative business models, and energy access. Parallel sessions will provide opportunities to discuss successful innovation and methods to break down barriers to large-scale clean energy development and deployment. (See the full agenda here)

“Asians have more to lose from climate change than any other people. The climate fight will be won or lost by decisions made in this region,” said Haruhiko Kuroda, ADB President. “An important key to lowering energy intensity is the elimination of fossil fuel subsidies and a rapid transition to renewable energy. Asia must also take radical steps to increase energy efficiency and the efficiency of entire economies.”

The opening plenary session, on June 22, will include remarks from Mr. Kuroda; Mohamed El-Ashry, Senior Fellow, UN Foundation and chairman of the Renewable Energy Policy Network (REN21); and Amory Lovins, Co-founder, Chairman and Chief Scientist, Rocky Mountain Institute (by video). Jennifer Morgan, WRI’s Director of Climate and Energy Program, will give the closing plenary speech.

“In order to meet the challenge of climate change, we need a fundamental transformation in our global energy system with a rapid increase of renewable energy and improvements in energy efficiency,” said Morgan. “With a significant increase in investment in clean energy, Asia can drive economic growth and innovation as it reduces carbon emissions that are altering the climate.”

WRI is working to support Asian countries in reaching their clean energy potential by drawing on the institute’s technical expertise, research, analytical tools, and stakeholder engagement. WRI experts work in areas such as policy and regulation, finance and investment, innovative business models and energy poverty to help a smooth transition to renewable energy.

“Hundreds of millions of people in Asia still lack access to energy and, meanwhile, energy demands are accelerating in the region,” said Athena Ronquillo-Ballesteros, Project Manager of International Financial Flows and Environment Project, WRI. “It’s up to governments, investors and other decision-makers to determine the path ahead for clean energy in the region. More investment is needed to increase energy access and move Asia toward a low-carbon future.”