By Shamim Adam
Washington: The Asian Development Bank said it will distribute $900 million (Rs3,816 crore) of loans this year for projects aimed at developing measures to use energy more efficiently.
The loans are in addition to $705 million leant last year as part of efforts to encourage countries in the Asia Pacific region to reduce dependence on conventional fuels, ADB president Haruhiko Kuroda said in a statement to the International Monetary Fund and World Bank Development Committee in Washington.
“For countries in Asia and the Pacific, meeting their energy needs, or energy security, is critical for maintaining the high rates of economic growth and development,” Kuroda said. “However, there is a growing consensus that it must be done in a sustainable manner.”
Higher coal, gas and oil prices and pressure to cut greenhouse gas emissions, blamed for global warming, are driving increased use of nuclear power. Prices for uranium, which is used to power plants that supply 16% of the world’s electricity, have surged almost fourfold in the past three years.
Foreign ministers from Southeast Asia, China, Japan, India, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand agreed in January to a 12- point plan to limit fossil fuels and invest in biofuels and nuclear energy to combat climate change.