Environmental Issues, Climate Changes, and Energy Security in Developing Asia

31 Pages Posted: 14 Aug 2014 Last revised: 22 Mar 2015

See all articles by Benjamin K. Sovacool

Benjamin K. Sovacool

Science Policy Research Unit; Department of Business Technology & Development

Date Written: June 1, 2014


Four environmental dimensions of energy security — climate change, air pollution, water availability and quality, and land-use change — and the environmental impact of 13 energy systems on each are discussed in this paper. Climate change threatens more land, people, and economies in Asia and small Pacific island states than any other part of the planet. Air pollution takes a substantial toll on national health-care expenditures and economies in general. Of the 18 megacities worldwide with severe levels of total suspended particulate matter emissions, 10 are in Asia. Regarding water availability and quality, hydropower, nuclear power, and thermal power account for 10% to 15% of global water consumption, and the volume of water evaporated from reservoirs exceeds the combined freshwater needs of industry and domestic consumption. In the domain of climate change, rising sea levels could contaminate freshwater aquifers possibly reducing potable water supplies by 45%. Changes in land use for fuelwood collection and biofuel production in Southeast Asia have resulted in deforestation at 5 times the global average and 10 times the average for the rest of Asia. Policymakers must begin to incorporate the cost of these negative consequences into energy prices.

Keywords: environment, water policy, climate change, energy security, Asia-Pacific

JEL Classification: Q40, Q43, Q51

Suggested Citation

Sovacool, Benjamin K., Environmental Issues, Climate Changes, and Energy Security in Developing Asia (June 1, 2014). Asian Development Bank Economics Working Paper Series No. 399; Vermont Law School Research Paper No. 17-14. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2479725 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2479725

Benjamin K. Sovacool (Contact Author)

Science Policy Research Unit ( email )

Falmer, Brighton BN1 9SL
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://www.sussex.ac.uk/profiles/373957

Department of Business Technology & Development ( email )

Nordre Ringgade 1
Aarhus C, DK-8000

HOME PAGE: http://pure.au.dk/portal/en/persons/id(fca10105-c4eb-4f0f-99a7-a354a8a8a47a).html

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