Energy Sustainability and Development in ASEAN.

AuthorWogan, David

Energy Sustainability and Development in ASEAN, edited by Han Phoumin, Harhad TaghizadehHesary, and Fukunari Kimura. (Routledge, 2021). 228 pages, ISBN 978-03674-59123 (hard cover), ISBN 9781003026075 (ebook).

As the title suggests, the book focuses on the role of energy in the economic development of Southeast Asia and is part of the Routledge Studies in Development Economics series. As the introduction notes. Southeast Asia is a rapidly developing region across many metrics. Economic growth is expected to grow at about 4 percent annually, while population increases steadily at 0.6 percent annually through 2040. Energy is one of the key ingredients to fueling the economic growth. Final energy consumption is expected to grow by 83 percent between 2013 and 2040.

Each of the 9 chapters is a research study, some published by the editors. The editors have extensively published on sustainable energy development, policies, and energy security issues in the Asia Pacific region and have brought together a diverse group of authors. A consistent message throughout the book is that renewable energy can lead to improved economic development through avoiding health impacts, contributing positively to energy security, or providing long-run benefits that align with economic development ambitions.

The book begins with an exploration of air pollution on health and the economy in Southeast Asia. The authors Farhad Taghizadeh-Hesary and Farzad Taghizadeh-Hesary apply a vector autoregression on panel data from 2000-2016 for the ten Member States of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). Emissions from fossil fuel combustion with impacts on health and economic activity in the ASEAN Member States. The authors found that access to inexpensive fossil fuels is a key driver of economic growth in ASEAN, but this leads to increased air pollution and the resulting increase in respiratory diseases, which has a negative effect in the long run not only on direct health care costs but on reduction in the labor supply, which compound to become an economic burden. The empirical results show that utilization of fossil fuels is one reason for economic growth in Southeast Asia, but there is a latent cost (negative health impact). The chapter would have benefited from a high-level cost-benefit analysis to further illustrate the implications of these findings.

In Chapter 2, the focus turns towards indoor air pollution from wood biomass cooking in Cambodia. As...

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