The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and two United Nations agencies launched a hub on June 18 to mobilise investments and innovation to bring clean energy to the people of Asia and the Pacific.

ADB will host and manage the Sustainable Energy for All hub. The United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP), and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) are its partners..

More than 600 million people do not get access to electricity and around 1.8 billion others still use firewood or charcoal to cook their food and heat their homes, ADB’s Vice-President for Knowledge Management and Sustainable Development Bindu Lohani said in a press release on June 18.

“We can overcome energy poverty through sustainable, low-carbon energy means, and through this new hub we are gathering together investors, innovators, and experts to make this happen,” said the ADB Vice President.

The hub will leverage the existing structures of ADB, UNDP and ESCAP energy programmes and support to countries in conducting rapid assessments, building constructive dialogues on policy, and catalysing investments and mobilising bilateral and global funds for clean energy development.

According to ADB, Asia’s demand for energy is soaring as the region’s economies expand apace and as populations move to cities where energy use is higher.

By 2035, developing Asia will account for 56 percent of global primary energy use, up from 34 percent in 2010. This needs to be met by increasing the use of renewable energy and by achieving greater energy efficiency if the environment is to be safeguarded.

The International Energy Agency estimates that Asia and the Pacific will need investments of more than 200 billion USD to provide full access to energy by 2030.-VNA