This solution has been deployed in rural communities in Vietnam and Cambodia. In Vietnam, 250,000 biogas digesters helped reduce harmful particles in kitchens by 80 percent - from 73 micrograms per cubic metre (µg/m3) to 28 µg/m3 - just slightly shy of the World Health Organisation's (WHO) safety guideline of 24 µg/m3. According to a report by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), the improvement in air quality helped prevent an estimated 750 premature deaths and saved 27,700 disability-adjusted life years (DALY). Refrigeration systems powered by renewable energy also aid in ensuring food security for rural communities. According to IRENA, adequate access to refrigeration can prevent the putrefaction of 20 percent of perishable foods in places where access to energy is generally unreliable. For example, on Green Island in the Philippines, a renewable energy microgrid generates enough electricity to produce one tonne of ice per day which in turn helps to preserve the daily catch by local fishers. This has led to an estimated 40 percent increase in income for local fishermen. This has been exemplified in rural Myanmar where a micro-hydro plant is used to power clinics which provide maternity services to the local community. Besides that, solar energy is used by Sunlabob Renewable Energy, a private company specialising in sustainable renewable solutions in partnership with the Lao PDR Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry and Asian Development Bank (ADB) to install 44 solar powered refrigeration and cooling systems in several rural provinces in the country. These systems ensure the reliable storage of chemicals, medications and vaccinations which are used to treat 11,000 Laotians. However, many of those living in Southeast Asia's remote villages are still reliant on traditional biomass like firewood for heating and age-old diesel generators for intermittent electricity supply. Clean energy means a cleaner environment and better standards of living for everyone. Whether in urban areas or in villages, the health benefits that could potentially accompany a shift to renewables cannot be dismissed lightly. Renewable energy can also be used to power irrigation systems and pumps which in turn contribute to improved yields. Another way of increasing yield from limited land is to utilise biomass as fertiliser instead of using inorganic fertiliser. In rural Vietnam, farmyard manure helps increase crop yields by up to 20 percent. Paddy rice production– a key staple for the region– was also boosted to an estimated three million tonnes from 2.5 million. The renewable solution is the biogas digester which uses bioenergy for cooking and heating. Biogas digesters rely on animal waste to harness methane gas for energy generation. Methane is a greenhouse gas which traps heat 21 times more than carbon dioxide and negatively impacts the climate. Renewable energy is set to change the energy landscape of the region and its benefits are plentiful. The regional goal is to ensure 23 percent of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) primary energy mix is made up of renewable energy by 2025. Hence, the solution has to, in effect, accomplish two things– provide rural areas with access to electricity and alternative energy, whilst ensuring the environment isn't harmed. In doing so, rural villages enjoy the health benefits that accompany their use of renewables. Renewable energy powered water desalination can also serve as an efficient solution to improve water security in rural areas. Such solutions can help in improving the pumping, boiling, disinfecting, purifying, distribution and storing of clean water. The 1001fontaines project in Cambodia saw the introduction of a solar powered water purification system which provides 400,000 people in rural villages with access to clean drinking water. A Sumbanese resident checks mini hydroelectric generators - known as micro hydro plants - built beside a river dam in Kamanggih village in Sumba island located in central Indonesia, bringing electricity to the local community. (Romeo Gacad / AFP Photo). Another example of how renewable energy can improve health is in the healthcare services industry. Efficient rural healthcare is undergirded by a steady supply of electricity to power the various life support and treatment machines in hospitals or clinics. Mitsubishi Electric Thai Foundation donates Bt270,000 to Learning Cent. Dell Thailand recognised as one of most powerful brands in Thailand. Megabangna, Highways Department to build a new U-turn bridge on Bangna. Fiji aims high to be hub of Pacific Rim. Private financing is key to low-carbon infrastructure, says HSBC. Thai biryani flavour tweaked to appeal to Chinese taste buds. Southeast Asia has already taken important steps to unlock private sector financing around addressing climate change. These include the launch of the Asean Green Bond Standards in November 2017 by the Asean Capital Markets Forum. This created a common framework to promote the growth of a new green asset class while enhancing transparency, consistency and uniformity of new issuance. This was followed by the launch of the Asean Social Bond Standards and Asean Sustainability Bond Standards in October 2018. Thailand is planning to build the world's largest floating solar farms to power Southeast Asia's second-largest economy and boost the country's share of clean energy. Climate change affects individuals, countries, corporates and investors, and so finding and delivering constructive solutions should be a joined-up effort including global banks like HSBC, said Hussain. The third commitment under the Paris Agreement is "making finance flows consistent with a pathway towards low greenhouse gas emissions and climate-resilient development". "We hope these recommendations are a helpful contribution towards the delivery of long-term solutions," he added. Asia-Pacific economies to slow, Thailand's growth rate lower than regional average: World Bank projection. New approach needed as trade war wallops Thai exports. The first is launching an annual Doing Sustainable Infrastructure Report, followed by creating an Asean urban infrastructure network to build a regional smart cities network. The last recommendation is to develop an Asean blended-finance toolbox. Vietnam is working to complete several mega solar-power projects later this year. Ways to gear up for an ageing society. Mukthar Hussain, HSBC's head of business corridors for Asia-Pacific, said that addressing environmental challenges is no longer simply a moral issue, but also an economic one. The development of sustainability linked infrastructure using public and private sector financing is the only way that Asean could address the challenges that climate change presents to its economies, he said. The Asian Development Bank (ADB) forecasts that, if left unaddressed, climate change could reduce the region's gross domestic product (GDP) by 11 per cent by the end of the century. Moreover, the ADB says that Asean's public sector can cover less than 50 per cent of the total investment required. To fill this gap, the bloc's member states must take steps to promote greater private sector participation in infrastructure financing, the bank asserts. Last year, Malaysia set the goal of increasing the share of its electricity generated from renewable sources to 20 per cent by 2030. Presented to Asean finance ministers last week ahead of their annual ministerial summit, the recommendations were a response to the disproportionate impact of climate change on the region, along with the growing need for private investment to help bridge infrastructure funding gaps. HSBC has announced a series of recommendations for how Southeast Asia can better attract private investment for projects that are both economically and environmentally sustainable. 'Fujitsu Asia Conference 2018' A Showcase of Technological Innovations.