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Towards a Sustainable Future

Energy Connectivity in Asia and the Pacific Region

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This report, aimed at policy makers from Asia and the Pacific, provides a historical perspective on regional energy connectivity and its implementation challenges, as well as outlining an action plan for accelerated regional energy integration to bring shared benefits to ESCAP’s member States. The report concludes that energy connectivity can increase the supply and reduce the cost of energy, while lowering its social and environmental costs and addressing the challenges of energy security. Regional cooperation in energy has been evolving mainly through five subregional clusters –– South-East Asia, Central Asia, South Asia, North-East Asia, and the Pacific. A great many resources have been spent on bringing the subregions together; however, overall results remain below the potential. One of the main reasons for the slow progress is the decision-making process for cross-border projects. Energy markets do not connect by themselves; in the next few decades, actions will be needed to build physical energy networks, institutional connectivity and, most importantly, trust between nations to meet the Region’s two most important challenges — overcoming energy poverty and mitigating climate change. Governments, policymakers, and experts must work together in partnership with the private sector to provide sustainable energy for all by 2050 by connecting Asian energy networks and building institutions of integration. ESCAP is in a unique position to lead such a transformative partnership for ensuring that regional energy connectivity creates incentive structures and institutions to deliver cost-effective energy for the entire Region. It is time to build energy connectivity for an interdependent Asia and the Pacific –– prosperous and connected –– thus ending Asian economic dependence on a single source or a single fuel.

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Foreword

The energy choices we make today will shape the development of the Asia-Pacific region throughout the 21st century. The global community has recognized that energy is not only central to economic and social progress but also has a profound impact on the environment. This is why energy is critical to the successful implementation of the new universal and transformative 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. It is also why Sustainable Development Goal specifically emphasizes the need to ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all, aiming to ensure access, double the share of renewable energy and double the rate of implementation of energy efficiency by 2030.

English

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