Greenpeace welcomes ASEAN Energy Ministers' commitment to renewable

Feature story - July 27, 2006
Welcome news at the conclusion of the 24th ASEAN Energy Ministers Meeting in Laos: ASEAN Energy Ministers issue a statement which commits to strengthening renewable energy development in Southeast Asia.

Greenpeace today welcomed ASEAN Energy Ministers' joint statement which commits to strengthening renewable energy development in Southeast Asia as the 24th ASEAN Energy Ministers Meeting in Laos winds down. The environmental group also expressed hope that this was not mere rhetoric but will translate to real policies and a massive renewable energy uptake in the region.

Philippine Energy Secretary, Raphael P.M. Lotilla accepts a Greenpeace "Climate change knows no borders" t-shirt. Greenpeace today welcomed ASEAN Energy Ministers' joint statement which commits to strengthening renewable energy development in Southeast Asia as the 24th ASEAN Energy Ministers Meeting in Laos winds down.

Greenpeace today welcomed ASEAN Energy Ministers' joint statement which commits to strengthening renewable energy development in Southeast Asia as the 24th ASEAN Energy Ministers Meeting in Laos winds down. The environmental group also expressed hope that this was not mere rhetoric but will translate to real policies and a massive renewable energy uptake in the region. According to Greenpeace, Southeast Asia is home to some of the largest renewable energy resources in the world. The Philippines has potential for 100,000 megawatts (MW) of electricity derived mainly on geothermal and wind (1); Indonesia has potential for 100,000MW mainly from biomass and geothermal (2); while Thailand's 14,000MW potential mainly from biomass is capable of supplying 30 percent of country's energy needs in the next decade (3).

"The ASEAN should envision a shared power grid anchored on some of the world's largest renewable energy sources. A genuine sustainable ASEAN regional agreement is one that is not based on coal nor oil nor other fossil fuel imports, but on massive on-grid uptake of renewable energy and on energy efficiency," said said Athena Ronquillo-Ballesteros, Climate Campaigner of Greenpeace International.

Amidst soaring oil prices and increasing extreme weather events in the region due to climate change, ASEAN Energy Ministers discussed energy cooperation and security but failed to include the climate change impacts in its pronouncements today.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the foremost global authority on the issue, said the effects of climate change are expected to be greatest in developing countries, like those in Southeast Asia, in terms of loss of life and relative effects on the economy.

"Billions are at risk from the catastrophic impacts of climate change, and almost half of them are in the region. There was much talk in the meeting about so-called win-win options, but these must be anchored on a safe, secure, sustainable and renewable energy supply that can withstand peak oil challenges and external social and environmental imperatives," said Tara Buakamsri, Climate and Energy Campaigner of Greenpeace Southeast Asia.

Contact information

  • Athena Ronquillo-Ballesteros (currently in Laos), Climate Campaign Coordinator, Greenpeace International, +63 917 8131562 Tara Buakamsri, Climate and Energy campaigner (currently in Laos), Greenpeace Southeast Asia, +661 8550013 Arthur Jones Dionio, Regional Media campaigner, +6614451398

Notes to Editor 1)"Bringing Calamities to Communities", Greenpeace report 2006 2)Presentation in Berlin, 2004 by Yogo Pratomo, Director General of Electricity and energy Utilization, Min. of Energy and Mineral Resources, Republic of Indonesia 3)Greenpeace Southeast Asia, www.greenpeace.or.th

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