ADB Seeking Public Comment on Proposed Energy Strategy

News Release | 4 May 2007

KYOTO, JAPAN - ADB is ready to launch a public consultation process for its draft new energy strategy to be finalized later this year.

Some of the main issues concerning the review were discussed today at an Open Forum with civil society representatives at ADB's 40th Annual Meeting in Kyoto. Among the issues raised were hydropower, ADB's clean energy program, coal energy, and power sector privatization.

Asia is expected to need between US$6 trillion and US$9 trillion in investment to 2030 if unserved populations are to be provided with access to energy by that year.

"The demand for energy in Asia and the Pacific has to be met in a sustainable way," says Shyam Bajpai, Deputy Director General in ADB's Regional and Sustainable Development Department.

ADB has highlighted managing the environment as one of its five strategic priorities under its current Medium-Term Strategy. Assistance to clean energy is one of the interventions identified in this strategic priority.

"ADB's new strategy is expected to place greater focus on energy security and climate change through promotion of cleaner, more efficient and less polluting sources and technologies, and greater use of indigenous forms of renewable energy."

ADB's last Energy Policy dates from 1995, although it was reviewed in 2000 to embrace the institution's new direction on reducing poverty, addressing environmental impacts, and greater promotion of private sector involvement and regional cooperation. ADB's first Energy Policy was adopted in 1981.

ADB's Operations Evaluation Department, which reports independently to ADB's Board of Directors, is currently reviewing ADB's Energy Policy and the findings of the review will be included in the new energy strategy.

Under the current timetable, consultation draft of the energy strategy is expected to be posted on the web for public comment in mid-May.

Formal consultations with civil society and other stakeholders are expected to start in June in India, Kazakhstan, PRC, and Philippines. ADB aims to finalize the strategy in September.

Beside ADB officials, taking part in today's panel were representatives from key nongovernment organizations concerned with energy issues, including Zhao Ang of Greenpeace China, and Ana Maria Nemenzo, President of the Freedom from Debt Coalition.