The Asia and Pacific region is faced with a multi-pronged set of issues related to clean energy and climate, including the fact that it accounts for more than 50% of the global annual greenhouse gas emissions; bears a significant burden of the global impacts of climate change from extreme weather conditions and droughts; and has pressing needs for inclusive, resilient, and sustainable development of its populations. Energy has always been a central pillar of economic development and growth, and as a result, the shift to clean energy development holds much promise for avoiding the emissions, fulfilling the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and advancing the climate commitments made through the Paris Climate Agreement, the Nationally Determined Contributions of countries, and the net zero or carbon-neutrality pledges of developing member countries.

This opening plenary session aims to highlight the contributions of and prospects with clean energy as we continue our mission in pursuing inclusive and sustainable development in Asia and the Pacific. It also aims to delve into clean energy’s critical and urgent role in directing development efforts towards carbon neutral pathways.

The ACEF Opening Plenary Session sets the tone for the week. Speakers and panelists will focus on current trends, along with future prospects and opportunities for scaling up clean energy in Asia and the Pacific. Presentations and discussion may cover the key challenges, such as enabling regulations for the power sector, grid integration of variable renewable energy, prospects for improved energy storage, lack of investment in energy efficiency, and barriers to scaling up private sector investment.