Pursuing Low Carbon Options in South Asian Countries – Regional Consultations for Advocacy

Energy plays a pivotal role in poverty reduction efforts. It is central to various aspects of development such as health, population, agriculture productivity, education, livelihoods etc. The correlation of energy with Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) is such that none of the MDGs will be met without improvement in quality and quantity of energy services in developing countries (UNDP, 2005).

However, with most countries development pathways are such that economic growth leads to increase in consumption of energy. The consumption of fossil fuel based energy invariably leads to increase in global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.  Energy production represents about 65% of global anthropogenic GHG emissions. Thus the reduction of emissions must start with actions geared to reduce emissions through fuel combustion.

The global goal to limit the current trajectory of global temperature change to 2°C and to minimise the adverse impacts of climate change needs combined efforts from countries. Among South Asian countries, the total primary energy consumption for Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka amounted to 1789.5 million tonnes of CO2 in 2009 (IEA, 2011), almost 6.2% of the total CO2 emissions globally.

When one takes into consideration all these reasons, it is correct to say that Low Carbon Economy should be a priority in South Asian countries. Research organisations need to frame the advocacy in light of pursuing pro-poor agenda. Various organisations are engaged in framing low carbon options that need to converge for clarity on recommended options and initiate joint advocacy efforts.

In this backdrop, PGVS, Christian Aid, Climate Action Network South Asia (CANSA), Development Alternatives, Clean Energy Nepal and LEAD Pakistan supported by Heinrich Boell Foundation, Oxfam and Asia Pacific Network (APN) is organising a regional consultation on Low Carbon Options for South Asian Countries and Sectors at Hotel Soaltee Plaza, Kathmandu, Nepal on August 26-27, 2014.