Six major East Asian energy-consuming countries, including Vietnam , could stabilise their greenhouse gas emissions by 2025 without compromising growth, says a new WB report via a video conference on April 19.

The report, “Winds of Change: East Asia’s Sustainable Energy Future”, says major investments in energy efficiency and a concerted switch to renewable sources of power in China, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam could simultaneously stabilise greenhouse gas emissions and increase energy security while improving the local environment.

The studies laid out two scenarios—one where countries continue according to current government policies and one where they pursue an alternative, low-carbon path.

Under the alternative Sustainable Energy Development path, the report says renewable energy, including hydro, wind, biomass, geothermal, and solar, can meet a significant proportion of the region’s power needs by 2030.

The report also urges governments to take immediate action to transform their energy sectors to be oriented towards much higher efficiency and more widespread use of clean energy before it’s too late.

“The window of opportunity is closing fast as delaying action will lock the region into a long–lasting, high-carbon infrastructure,” the report says.

According to the report, Vietnam obtained an impressive economic growth rate over the past decade, leading to a two-fold increase in power demand. The demand is expected to double in the next ten years if the country continues witnessing such growth.

Vietnam is among 10 countries most vulnerable to climate change since half of the country’s population live along the coast and in the Mekong Delta.

If Vietnam continues pursuing its current energy development, it will turn from an energy exporter into an importer by 2030, according to the report.

Vietnam has launched its national programme on sustainable energy, however, to translate this into reality, the country needs a policy and regulatory framework. Over the past decade, Vietnam has reduced its energy intensity by 2 percent each year, only behind China in an effort for a regional sustainable energy future.

Industry is the largest energy-saving sector. In the coming decade, Vietnam needs to give priority to investing in effective energy technology at new industrial plants.

Vietnam has mapped out a master plan for hydro-power development, however, the country should also take policies to encourage electricity production from natural gas and other low-cost, renewable energy resources.

In addition to major hydro-power plants, which account for 26 percent of the country’s current power capacity, Vietnam plans to produce 5 percent of its electricity from renewable energy by 2020./.