Regional trends report 2021: shaping a sustainable energy future in Asia and the Pacific
Sustainable Development Goal 7 on energy (SDG7) outlines clear targets for universal access, increasing renewable energy and improving energy efficiency, while Nationally Determined Contributions under the Paris Agreement provides a basis for limiting greenhouse gas emissions. However, while many countries have made considerable progress towards these goals, the Asia-Pacific region is not on track to meet SDG7 or the Paris Agreement goal of limiting global warming to two degrees. Green stimulus can accelerate the deployment of sustainable technologies by directing investment towards renewable energy, energy efficiency and electric mobility. However, policy frameworks must be established to create the required fiscal space while unlocking the potential of technology, innovation and human capacity. While some Asia-Pacific countries are demonstrating leadership and new technologies and approaches have emerged, further work is needed to cement policies and better engage the private sector in financing the sustainable energy transformation. The aim of this report is to assess the ambitions and progress of ESCAP member States in the achievement of global, regional and national sustainable energy objectives, and to discuss solutions to the principal challenges. The report assesses the potential for sustainable energy and building back better from COVID-19 to be mutually reinforcing, providing recommendations on how to develop greener, more inclusive energy systems that offer greater resilience to future crises. Drawing on the most up to date data across the SDG7 targets, the analysis in this report considers a range of examples and key lessons from the varied experience across the region to inform and improve future decision-making efforts.