The U.N. Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific kicked off a weeklong gathering in Kazakhstan to highlight the need to invest in the green energy sector.
Rae Kwon Chung, director of ESCAP's environment division, said growth in the green energy sector represents a "unique opportunity" for developing countries to skip conventional energy development and move directly into a "sustainable growth paradigm."
ESCAP Executive Director Noeleen Heyzer said that, for developing nations to advance, capital investments in green energy technology were needed during the early stages economic development.
There needs to be a "fundamental transformation of our economic structure by integrating ecological costs in market prices, investing in sustainable infrastructure, promoting green business and technology, pursuing sustainable lifestyles and by developing climate-resilient societies," she said in a statement.
The ESCAP meeting runs through Saturday in Astana.
2014: The Year in Music [PHOTOS]