Asia and the Pacific Meeting Addresses Sustainable Energy Development

29 September 2011: The Expert Group Meeting on Sustainable Energy Development in Asia and the Pacific reviewed energy security challenges facing the region and outlined a regional agenda on the issue. Participants stressed the importance for countries in the region to have national policies that will ensure universal access to clean and efficient energy services to advance poverty reduction and improve health and well-being.

The meeting, which took place in Bangkok, Thailand, from 27-29 September 2011, was jointly organized by UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), the UN Development Programme (UNDP), the UN Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO).

The Meeting acknowledged that people facing energy insecurity are without a voice in designing energy policies, and agreed on the need to make energy policies pro-poor, and pro-women, to ensure universal access to modern energy. ESCAP underlined that promoting access to modern energy services, energy efficiency and renewable energy can revitalize the regional economy and mitigate climate change.

ESCAP further underscored that only a few Asia-Pacific countries have integrated poverty reduction and environmental protection concerns into national energy policies, but that lack of access to energy is a core cause of chronic poverty, which, in turn, makes it even more difficult to obtain essential energy services, resulting in a vicious cycle of poverty and energy deprivation. [UNDP Press Release] [UN ESCAP Press Release]