On March 28-30, the Climate Parliament and Wilton Park co-convened a high-level dialogue on Connecting Asia at Wilton Park, Sussex, England, in collaboration with the Department for International Development (DFID) and Oxford Policy Management.
The meeting focused on opportunities within Asia to increase cross-border electricity interconnections, enabling increased trading of renewable energy. The discussions addressed building renewable energy hubs across Asia and connecting those hubs through regional grids. We explored modernizing and expanding energy grids simultaneously with rail, road, fibre-optic and in some areas water transport. The meeting brought together government representatives, Members of Parliament and senior business leaders from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, China, India, Japan, Mongolia, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Thailand.
Wilton Park is a non-profit-making, Executive Agency of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office which runs over 60 events a year on international policy challenges. The meeting was part of the Green Grid Initiative, convened by the Climate Parliament, which was launched at a meeting hosted by the Government of Mexico in May 2018. The Green Grid Initiative seeks to enable informal collaboration between governments, parliaments and companies on building the new smart grids that are needed for the global transition to renewable energy. So far, 29 governments have expressed their intention to participate.
It was agreed to explore creating a Parliamentary Action Group for Asia to advance cross-border interconnections for renewable energy. The intergovernmental organizations and research institutions around the table agreed to feed information and action recommendations to the Members of Parliament, for them to present to ministers and officials in their own countries.