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Provocative Greenpeace warning

With estimates that more than 10,000 MW of new power plants will be built in Asia within the next ten years, the Greenpeace Southeast Asia Energy Campaign has released a timely report demonstrating that the region's energy requirements can be met from renewables. Greenpeace is calling on all governments and western companies not to repeat the mistakes made in powering the West in Asia.

With German engineering giant Siemens estimating that more than 10,000 MW of new power plants will be built in Asia within the next ten years, the Greenpeace Southeast Asia Energy Campaign has released a timely report demonstrating that the region's energy requirements can be met from renewables. Greenpeace is calling on all governments and western companies not to repeat the mistakes made in powering the West in Asia.

The report, presented in July at a regional workshop on climate change and energy organised by the Asian Development Bank and the United Nations Development Program in Bangkok, is titled "The Big Switch," with Greenpeace already throwing down the gauntlet in the sub title: "Renewable IPPs' report calls on Southeast Asian governments to set national targets to increase the percentage of renewables in the energy mix, to encourage renewable energy take-up through legislation, to remove anti-renewable market distortions and to develop a national energy plan that promotes a clean and sustainable energy future for the region."

The report also calls for donor countries, particularly from the OECD, to stop providing support for fossil fuel and nuclear power development in non-OECD countries. Official development assistance and other bilateral financing should be re-oriented towards renewable energy and energy efficiency, argues Greenpeace. "Western companies should support the solution and stop exporting the problem," says the organisation's Sven Teske. The Build-Operate-Transfer structure can be fully adapted to exploit renewable energy.

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