Asian leaders sign green energy pact

Asian countries accounting for over half the world's population signed an energy pact aimed at boosting renewables and diversifying energy sources in the region, concluding the East Asia Summit in Cebu, the Philippines.

Leaders of sixteen countries including China, India and Japan agreed to increase efforts to develop biofuels, hydro-power and other renewables as well as improve energy efficiency in a fast-developing region increasingly blighted by high oil prices.

The Cebu Declaration on Energy Security aims to diversify energy sources, introducing more renewables and bio-fuels but also nuclear power.

Alternative energy is “needed to sustain the momentum of the region’s economic expansion,” Asian leaders said, but also quoted “the worsening problems of environment and health, and the urgent need to address global warming and climate change” as motivation behind the pact.

Recognising that fossil fuels will remain the basis of East Asian economies for some time, the leaders also called for improved energy efficiency.

“Fossil fuels underpin our economies, and will be an enduring reality in our lifetimes,” they said in the Cebu Declaration on East Asian Energy Security.

New measures and mechanisms included the agreement aimed at accelerating research into new and renewable resources and technologies.

The seven-page pact was signed by leaders of sixteen Asian countries, including China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Laos, Brunei, Cambodia, Myanmar, Philippine, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand. The populations of India and China alone account for 2bn – a third of the earth’s total population.

More information on the East Asia summit, which closed on Tuesday, can be found at here.

Goska Romanowicz

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