The role of multilateral lenders in minimizing climate change

Synopsis: Asia should take bold measures and launch green projects in the energy sector to make a difference. 


We must fight climate change, meet the emission-reduction goals under the Paris Agreement, all while promoting economic growth and putting the region’s development on a green path. 

Why is the efforts of  Asia important in the climate change battle? 

Asia accounts for 36% of the global GDP, has made progress in economic development and poverty reduction.  

  • It is also responsible for 80% of the world’s coal consumption, and 60% of CO2 emissions. 
  •  Many countries have experienced the devastating consequences of climate change: floods, droughts, heat waves and storms.  
  • The region requires major changes in the energy sector. These include: avoiding the use of fossil fuels and switching to low-carbon fuels, deploying more renewable energy, improving energy efficiency, reducing final energy demand, and incentivizing investment in low-carbon technologies. 
  • A commitment across the region will be needed to meet the goal of limiting global warming to no more than 2 degrees above pre-industrial levels.  
  • Asia needs to balance climate mitigation and adaptation efforts. Ensuring universal energy access is critical as more than 200 million people in the region still have no electricity. 
  • Countries such as China, Fiji, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Maldives, the Marshall Islands, Singapore and Timor-Leste have pledged carbon-neutrality. 
How will the ADB help in minimizing climate change? 

The (ADB) is ready to take on a leadership role in the region in meeting these commitments. It aims at stepping up our climate finance and capacity-building efforts to help developing member countries achieve their NDCs. 

  • Firstly, under ADB’s Strategy 2030, the target is to focus 75% of Asian Development Bank’s operations on climate adaptation and mitigation. $80 billion in climate financing from 2019 to 2030 will be provided.  
  • Secondly, ADB will contribute to the global effort envisioned by COP26. We will promote a holistic approach that integrates the ecological, social and financial aspects of flexibility across our operations.  
  • Thirdly, private sector operations to support this agenda should be continued. It should fill investment gaps and lead technological and business innovation in the pursuit of sustainable solutions.  
  • Technology advances have slashed the costs of producing renewable energy by up to 80% in the case of solar photovoltaics. Emerging technologies like smart grids, energy storage and hydrogen make it easier to integrate renewable energy into power networks and distributed energy systems. 
  • Smart technologies have enhanced the flexibility and resilience of power networks. Digitalization has boosted energy efficiencies on the demand side. 
  • Lastly, for cross-sectoral impact, innovative energy projects are utilizing public-private sector synergies 
  • For example, in Thailand, ADB provided long-term financing for a 10MW wind power project with an integrated 1.88MW-hour pilot battery energy storage system. It is the first private sector project in the country to integrate utility-scale wind power generation with battery storage.  

The conclusion  

  • ADB envisions an energy policy that is aligned with global commitments under the Paris Agreement and is responsive to the needs of our DMCs as they build sustainable and resilient energy systems. It could include a formal withdrawal from financing new coal-fired power plants. 

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