RP can cut greenhouse gas emissions and still grow, says WB report

Published by rudy Date posted on April 23, 2010

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines is one of six major energy-using countries in East Asia that could stabilize their greenhouse gas emissions by 2025 without compromising growth, according to a new World Bank report.

The WB report, titled “Winds of Change: East Asia’s Sustainable Energy Future,” said major  investments in energy efficiency and a concerted switch to renewable sources of power in the Philippines, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam could simultaneously stabilize greenhouse gas emissions, increase energy security while improving local environments.

The report said a 10-fold increase in GDP in East Asia in the last three decades has led to a tripling of energy consumption which is expected to double again in the next two decades as the urban population increases by 50 percent.

The studies developed two scenarios in which development continues according to current government policies and an alternative, low carbon growth path. Under the alternative sustainable energy development path, the report said renewable energy (including hydro, wind, biomass, geothermal, and solar) can meet a significant proportion of the region’s power needs by 2030.

The report urged governments to take immediate action to transform their energy sectors towards much higher efficiency and more widespread use of clean energy before it’s too late since “the window of opportunity is closing fast as delaying action would lock the region into long-lasting high-carbon infrastructure.”

“What is required is a paradigm shift to a new low-carbon development model with sustainable lifestyles,” said Jim Adams, World Bank vice president for the East Asia & Pacific Region.

“Countries need to act now to transform the energy sector towards much higher energy efficiency and widespread deployment of low-carbon technologies. While many countries are already taking steps in this direction, accelerating the speed and scaling up efforts are needed to reach a sustainable energy path,” Adams said.

To reach a sustainable energy growth path, the report said the region needs a net additional investment of $80 billion per year – a figure it describes as a “major hurdle.” –Pia Lee-Brago (The Philippine Star)

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