Almost 5 million pigs in Asia have now died or been culled because of the spread of African swine fever over the past year, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation said on Friday, warning Asian nations to keep strict control measures in place.
ASF has wiped out over 10 per cent of the pig population in China, Vietnam and Mongolia, and is also present in Cambodia, North Korea and Laos, FAO said, citing its latest figures.
The contagious viral disease that affects domestic and wild pigs was first detected in Asia one year ago this month. While not dangerous to humans, the disease causes up to 100 per cent fatality in pigs, leading to severe economic losses to the pig sector, FAO said.
With FAO support, other countries in the region are ramping up preparedness efforts to prevent further spreading of the disease, the UN agency said.
“As there is no commercially available vaccine, we need to place greater emphasis on other disease counter efforts. Countries must be vigilant at borders – land, sea or air – in preventing the disease’s entrance and spread through the introduction of infected pigs or contaminated pork products. Outbreaks need to be reported immediately,” said FAO’s Chief Veterinary Officer Juan Lubroth.
“We are urging at-risk countries to implement effective biosecurity measures to prevent infected live pigs or contaminated pork products from crossing their borders,” he added.
On top of the Asian outbreak, Europe is currently experiencing a slowly-spreading epidemic among some of its wild pig population and some countries have introduced tight restrictions to limit the movement of wild pigs, FAO reported.
Asia could grow its share of installed capacity for onshore wind energy from 230 Gigawatt (GW) in 2018 to over 2,600 GW by 2050, a new report by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) said on Monday.
By that time, the region would become a global leader in wind, accounting for more than 50 per cent of all onshore and over 60 per cent of all offshore wind capacity installed globally.
China would take the lead with 2,525 GW of installed onshore and offshore wind capacity by 2050 within Asia, followed by India (443 GW), Korea (78 GW) and South-East Asia (16 GW).
According to the “Future of Wind” published at China Wind Power in Beijing, global wind power could rise ten-fold reaching over 6,000 GW by 2050.
By mid-century, wind could cover one-third of global power needs and — combined with electrification — deliver a quarter of the energy-related carbon emission reductions needed to meet the Paris climate targets.
To reach this objective, onshore and offshore wind capacity will need to increase four-fold and ten-fold respectively every year compared to today.
“With renewables, it’s possible to achieve a climate-safe future,” said IRENA’s Director-General Francesco La Camera.
“Low-cost renewable energy technologies like wind power are readily-available today, representing the most effective and immediate solution for reducing carbon emissions.
“Our roadmap for a global energy transformation to 2050 shows that it is technically and economically feasible to ensure a climate-safe, sustainable energy future. Unlocking global wind energy potential will be particularly important. In fact, wind energy could be the largest single source of power generation by mid-century under this path. This would not only enable us to meet climate goals, but it would also boost economic growth and create jobs, thereby accelerating sustainable development,” added Camera.
The global wind industry could become a veritable job motor, employing over 3.7 million people by 2030 and more than six million people by 2050, IRENA’s report finds.
These figures are respectively nearly three times higher and five times higher than the slightly over one million jobs in 2018.
Sound industrial and labour policies that build upon and strengthen domestic supply chains can enable income and employment growth by leveraging existing economic activities in support of wind industry development.
But to accelerate the growth of global wind power over the coming decades, scaling up investments will be key.
On average, global annual investment in onshore wind must increase from today $67 billion to $211 billion in 2050.
For offshore wind, global average annual investments would need to increase from $19 billion to $100 billion in 2050.
Asia would account for more than 50 per cent of global onshore wind power installations by 2050, followed by North America (23 per cent) and Europe (10 per cent).