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UN ESCAP Head Calls for Asian Energy Compact in Lead Up to Rio+20

25 April 2012: The UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) Executive Secretary, Noleen Heyzer, has called for a new regional energy compact to balance sustainable development with high rates of economic growth. 

Heyzer made the remarks during a lecture titled “Rio+20: Implications for energy access and sustainable development in Asia,” organized by the Energy Market Authority (EMA), in Singapore. According to Heyzer, the Asia-Pacific economy is an “engine of growth” but to keep it running “cleaner, more sustainable, more accessible energy” is required. She stressed a new Asian energy compact was needed to “ensure universal access to modern energy sources, reduce dependence on fossil fuels, significantly improve energy efficiency, and more than double the share of renewables in the Asian energy mix by 2030.”

Heyzer underscored that Rio+20 is the “best chance of this generation” to make growth more inclusive, underscoring a fundamental “re-set” of the global development agenda is needed. She said in Asia, this also means “changing the patterns of energy production, transmission and consumption.” Heyzer also said ESCAP would work with Asian and Pacific countries to explore the potential for developing an integrated regional power grid, among other initiatives to address issues of energy security and sustainability in Asia and the Pacific. [UN ESCAP Press Release]