South Asia Should Prioritize Investment in Sustainable Energy for Better Recovery: SEforALL

Though countries in South Asia have made substantial progress in recent years, but the pandemic has been putting this regional progress at risk and calls for countries to prioritize investments in sustainable energy, according to the new ‘Recover Better with Sustainable Energy Guide for South Asian Countries’.

December 17, 2020. By Manu Tayal

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South Asian countries should invest 25 per cent of stimulus budgets in closing energy access gaps, improving energy efficiency and increasing deployment of renewable energy, suggested Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL) in its new guide.

Though countries in South Asia have made substantial progress in recent years, but the pandemic has been putting this regional progress at risk and calls for countries to prioritize investments in sustainable energy, according to the new ‘Recover Better with Sustainable Energy Guide for South Asian Countries’.

As the world continues to face ongoing challenges from COVID-19 pandemic, the latest guide suggested that South Asian countries can use this moment to strengthen sustainable energy policies and finance to accelerate their economic recovery, close energy access gaps and improve the lives of vulnerable populations in the region.

The report further suggested that this investment will directly support faster progress on Sustainable Development Goal 7 (SDG7) i.e. access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all by 2030.

It further added this progress is critical for South Asia as 152 million people in the region lack access to electricity and 900 million lack access to clean cooking.

Besides, the region also has vast untapped potential for energy efficiency and renewable energy progress. Present trends show that South Asia will not meet the SDG7 targets of doubling their renewable energy share and increasing energy efficiency by 2030 if they do not act now, the report highlighted.

Commenting on the development, Damilola Ogunbiyi, CEO and Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Sustainable Energy for All and Co-Chair of UN-Energy, said that “South Asian countries have made strong progress over recent years in closing access gaps by making it a political priority across government. Faced with a unique opportunity to Recover Better, countries should renew this commitment and invest in sustainable energy of the future that will unleash a range of economic, employment, commercial, health, and gender benefits for their citizens.”

If enacted, the suggested measures will help lead to cheaper energy provision, lower environmental impacts and improved agriculture, gender, and health outcomes. This re-set can also spark progress at the speed and scale needed to meet SDG7 and help put the global economy on a trajectory in line with the Paris Agreement and Sustainable Development Goals.

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