“There is a need to establish the resilience of businesses, even the small and medium scale enterprises, in times of disasters to ensure continuity of operations,” said Philippine Department of Energy OIC-Secretary Zenaida Monsada on Tuesday.
Drawing the link between energy resilience and business continuity, OIC-Secretary Zenaida Monsada introduced the agenda for the 12th APEC Energy Ministerial Meeting convening today in Cebu, The Philippines.
"Today’s agenda brings to the forefront APEC economies’ initiatives and collective efforts to ensure energy-secured and sustainable communities capable of withstanding the unpredictable environmental changes and adverse effects as economies modernize and expand,” said Monsada, who also chairs this year’s ministers meeting.
“This year’s meetings are guided by the sub-themes: climate proofing energy infrastructure; improving energy trade and investment in APEC; advancing cutting-edge energy efficient technologies; and promoting community-based clean energy use in energy poverty stricken areas."
Monsada said that energy infrastructure stands to benefit from the resilience-oriented agenda as these structures bear the brunt of disasters, oftentimes disrupting value chains.
“We have seen how communities are paralyzed during disasters when such infrastructure is affected and damaged,” she continued. “We all recognize that energy serves as the bloodline of economies and without reliable energy supply, economies will recover slower or worse, will not function at all."
Monsada also highlighted the importance of financial resilience, along with infrastructure development to ensure the sustainability of economic gains in the region. She also noted the work that is being done under the APEC disaster risk reduction framework to improve resiliency of economies.
"We hope, therefore, that APEC member economies will come up with innovative measures and avenues to foster greater cooperation to ensure energy security, sustainability and now resiliency, especially that APEC accounts for about 60% of the world’s energy demand."
Accounting for around 60 per cent of world energy demand, the APEC region includes four of the world's five largest energy users. This demand, according to the Asia Pacific Energy Research Centre (APERC), will increase to by 32% by 2040.
With growing international attention on this issue, energy sustainability has been centrally placed as an important parameter for the Sustainable Development Goals now endorsed unanimously by the United Nations for the post-2015 development agenda.
"At the end of the day, we hope that APEC economies will also learn, aside from protecting the energy infrastructures, how to get up, recover, and build more resilient economies and train people to be more proactive for the benefit of their communities and cities," Monsada concluded.
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