MANILA, PHILIPPINES - Asian Development Bank (ADB) President Haruhiko Kuroda today opened the 7th Asia Clean Energy Forum (ACEF) which is gathering high-level experts and investors to exchange experiences and forge new partnerships to advance clean energy development in the region.
Asia and the Pacific has a huge and growing demand for energy. Yet the region is also highly vulnerable to climate change and related challenges such as extreme weather patterns and food insecurity. The region's health and prosperity hinges on how it responds to these challenges.
Development of renewable energy such as solar and wind power is key to that, but not the only issue that needs to be addressed.
"A holistic approach toward a low-carbon economy should be created and established, which will cover not only the energy sector, but also the transport, water, urban, agriculture sectors," said Bindu Lohani, Vice President, Knowledge Management and Sustainable Development at ADB who gave opening remarks at the forum today.
At the same time, the region needs to ensure that all those who need energy to improve their lives and livelihoods are able to access a safe and reliable source.
"We have prioritized and maximized access to energy for the poor and we must strengthen global momentum in support of universal energy access," Mr. Lohani said.
Almost 700 million people in Asia and the Pacific still have no access to an electricity supply. This lack of access holds back economic development, reinforcing growing inequality in the region.
Hosted by ADB, United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and the World Resources Institute, ACEF is bringing together about 600 policymakers, technology and energy experts, financers, and project developers from 55 countries. The forum, which runs until 8 June, is taking place during the International Year of Sustainable Energy for All.
Discussions at ACEF will focus on technology, policy and regulation, finance, access to energy and the important role of the ACEF as a knowledge broker among stakeholders.
Keynote speakers are: Daniel M. Kammen, Founding Director, Renewable and Appropriate Energy Laboratory, University of California at Berkeley; Zhengrong Shi, Chairman and CEO, Suntech Power Holdings; Michael Eckhart, Managing Director, Global Head of Environmental Finance and Sustainability, Citigroup; and Harish Hande, Managing Director, SELCO-India. Other eminent speakers will share the latest in clean energy policies, technologies, and business models.