ADB chief calls for bold action on climate change

Diplomatic Correspondent

16 June, 2021 12:00 AM printer

Asian Development Bank (ADB) will play a leading role in helping Asia and the Pacific meet its Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) under the Paris Agreement and achieve net-zero emissions by mid-21st century, said ADB president

“Now is the time for bold action,” ADB president Masatsugu Asakawa told the participants at the Asia Clean Energy Forum (ACEF) 2021 on Tuesday.

 “We must commit wholeheartedly to fighting climate change and meeting the emission-reduction goals under the Paris Agreement, while ensuring universal energy access in a region where more than 200 million people still lack access to electricity,” Asakawa said.

According to him, this will require major changes in the energy sector including avoiding fossil fuels, switching to low-carbon fuels, deploying more renewable energy, and improving energy efficiency among others.

ADB plans to step up its climate finance and capacity-building activities to help its developing member countries (DMCs) achieve their NDCs, Asakawa added.

Co-hosted by ADB, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and the Korea Energy Agency (KEA), the ACEF runs from 14–18 June.

More than 3,000 delegates are expected to join the online event including policy makers, energy and private sector professionals, and civil society organizations from around the world, according to a message received from ADB headquarters in Manila.

Under the theme “Accelerating the Low Carbon Transition in Asia and the Pacific,” this year’s event will explore technology road maps to achieve the NDCs, understand the impact of the COVID-19 on the region’s energy systems, and how to foster a green recovery.

The event takes place amid ongoing stakeholder consultations on ADB’s new energy policy.

Given the profound changes in the region’s energy landscape, ADB is reviewing its energy policy to reflect the changing energy landscape, global climate commitments, and ADB’s Strategy 2030 while ensuring it continues to meet the needs of its DMCs.

Under Strategy 2030, ADB is committed to delivering $80 billion in cumulative climate financing from its own resources by 2030 and for at least 75% of its operations by number of projects to feature climate adaptation and mitigation initiatives.

Minister for Asia at the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office Nigel Adams delivered a keynote message on behalf of President Designate for the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference Alok Sharma.

USAID Acting Assistant Administrator for Asia Karen Freeman also delivered a keynote message.

ADB Vice-President for Knowledge Management and Sustainable Development Bambang Susantono and KEA President and Chief Executive Officer Chang-Seob Kim delivered introductory remarks.