Asia-Pacific experts call for large clean energy financing

June 3rd, 2008 - 2:37 pm ICT by IANS  

Manila, June 3 (DPA) Asia-Pacific energy experts, policymakers and project developers Tuesday called for massive new investments in clean energy amid spiraling costs for oil and coal and the growing threat of climate change. At the opening of an annual Asia Clean Energy Forum at the Manila-based Asian Development Bank (ADB), organizers and participants stressed the need to scale up investments in clean energy solutions.

“The challenges we face today, soaring fuel and commodity prices, threats from climate change, and growing problems of poor people having limited access to energy, all point to the need to take action,” ADB Vice President Ursula Schaefer Preuss told the forum.

The ADB noted that Asia-Pacific needs up to $6.4 trillion in new energy infrastructure by 2030.

“Unless there is a move away from the dependence on oil and coal, countries will continue to be vulnerable to price hikes in these commodities and will further contribute to climate change,” the bank said in a statement.

It noted that while the worldwide clean energy sector is already attracting significant investments, relatively little of the amount is reaching Asia because of a lack of supportive government policies and legislation.

Last year, about 148 billion dollars were invested in clean energy worldwide, much of which was used in Europe and other developed regions.

The ADB meeting is taking place as energy prices, particularly oil and coal, hit record highs. Some analysts have argued that a “super spike” in prices may be just around the corner.

“Given the cost of oil and its impact on the climate, there is no better time than now to take action,” said Winston Bowman, regional environment director at the US Agency for International Development, a sponsor of the forum.

“If action isn’t taken now, it will be much more costly to do so in the future,” he added.

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