ADB says to double funds for Asia-Pacific climate mitigation by 2020

ADB President Takehiko Nakao said that tacking climate change is critical in Asia and the Pacific. PHOTO: BLOOMBERG

MANILA (REUTERS) - The Asian Development Bank said on Friday it will double to US$6 billion (S$8.55 billion) a year by 2020 its financing of projects to help Asia-Pacific countries mitigate the impact of climate change.

"Nowhere is tackling climate change more critical than in Asia and the Pacific, where rising sea levels, melting glaciers, and weather extremes like floods and droughts are damaging livelihoods and taking far too many lives," ADB President Takehiko Nakao said in a statement.

Six of the 10 nations most vulnerable to climate change are in the Asia Pacific region, the ADB said, making it highly susceptible to environmental shocks and disasters.

The ADB said South Asia could lose 8.8 per cent of its annual gross domestic product by 2100, while Southeast Asia could lose 6.7 per cent of its GDP a year, if it fails to combat the effects of climate change.

Out of the US$6 billion financing, US$4 billion will be dedicated to mitigation through scaling up support for renewable energy, energy efficiency and sustainable transport, as well as for building smart cities.

The rest will be for adaptation through more resilient infrastructure, climate-smart agriculture, and better preparation for climate-related disasters, the Manila-based lender said.

The ADB said it would also explore co-financing opportunities with public and private partners to help the region adapt to global warming, adding it would adjust its procurement systems to integrate cleaner technology in its projects.

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