According to Greenpeace International, East Asian countries can save about $2 trillion in fuel costs over the next 23 years by shifting to renewable energy (abandoning plans for both coal and nuclear plants). Said dazzlingly monickered Greenpeace campaign coordinator Athena Ballasteros …

… investment costs for new power plants in East Asia projected by the International Energy Agency (IEA) would total 490 billion dollars between 2004 and 2030.

Under Greepeace’s scenario, investment costs on renewable energy would amount to 556 billion dollars over the same time frame.

However, fuel costs in the IEA projections would cost 6.3 trillion dollars over a 23-year period.

But if East Asian states shifted to renewable energy, fuel costs over the same period would total 4.2 trillion dollars, translating into savings of 2.1 trillion dollars

Meanwhile, East Asian countries went right about their business as if nothing had happened:

However, Southeast Asian energy ministers and officials from China, Japan and South Korea who joined them later at a meeting in Singapore on Thursday indicated that shifting would not be easy.

In a joint communique issued after their one-day meeting, they said that with robust economic growth, the region’s demand for oil “will continue to increase, especially in the transportation sector.”

They also “recognised that coal will play an important role in the regional energy supply,” in sharp contrast with Greenpeace’s position calling for a moratorium on the building of new coal-fired plants.

They acknowledged efforts of some countries to explore the peaceful use of nuclear energy and encouraged dialogues to discuss more viable nuclear technologies.

It’s almost like officials in East Asian states aren’t acting in the long-term interests of their citizenries. It’s almost like they’re acting in the short-term interests of politically powerful industries.

Say it ain’t so.