The United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) and the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) will work together to improve access to sustainable energy, bolstering the Asia-Pacific region’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, IRENA announced in a statement on Wednesday.
According to the statement, ESCAP and IRENA will offer recommendations to governments in the region positioning energy transition as an integral part of the immediate response to the COVID-19 crisis and medium to long-term recovery efforts.
Joint efforts will focus on developing sustainable energy policies that are closely integrated with health and industrial development policies to bolster recovery efforts and rebuild economies.
'Asia-Pacific, home to half of the world’s population, is largely dependent on fossil fuels. Diesel, for instance, fuels the majority of the region’s off-grid electricity needs,' IRENA stated.
According to ESCAP, 200 million people in the Asia Pacific region live without electricity and 1.2 billion people without access to clean cooking fuel.
According to IRENA’s recently launched Global Renewables Outlook report, renewables can supply more than half of all power needs in Southeast Asia alone by 2030, boosting the regional economy by more than 4.4% and growing jobs by close to 50% in the process.
By Gulsen Cagatay