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Promoting Regional Energy Connectivity in Asia and the Pacific

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At its seventieth session, the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific endorsed the Bangkok Declaration on Regional Economic Cooperation and Integration in Asia and the Pacific, which promotes a comprehensive view of regional economic cooperation and integration. Energy connectivity, with its specific focus on transboundary interconnection and power trade, can play an important role in overall regional economic cooperation and integration. It can have mutual benefits for member States and play a role in increasing the sustainability of energy sectors. With energy demand in Asia and the Pacific forecast to increase by 60 per cent between 2010 and 2035, access to reliable and adequate energy services will remain a focus for the decades to come. The region is expected to account for more than 40 per cent of the $68 trillion of cumulative global energy investments through 2040. The present document addresses the challenges involved in meeting growing energy demand while promoting energy connectivity as a means to enhance the sustainability and lower the carbon footprint of the power sector, covering energy access, renewable energy and energy efficiency. Notwithstanding the forecast 60 per cent increase in energy demand, electricity demand is forecast to more than double, illustrating the increasing importance of electricity in the future. There is a large amount of knowledge and lessons learned on how increased sustainability of the power sector has been achieved in other regions. The present document focuses on the role that regional cooperation and energy connectivity will play and their potential and highlights opportunities and actions based on best practices. Furthermore, it contains a proposal on the creation of a regional mechanism to effectively address the multiple challenges in the energy sector. The Committee on Energy may wish to consider and endorse recommendations contained in the present document to facilitate enhanced regional energy connectivity for the Asia-Pacific region.


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