Countries in Asia and the Pacific must adopt more effective and innovative low-carbon policies and technologies to secure greener and more sustainable growth, delegates heard at a forum today hosted by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Hunan Department of Ecology and Environment.
The Asia-Pacific Forum on Low-Carbon Development, now in its fourth year with the theme “Low Carbon Solutions for Our Green Future”, has brought together more than 600 policymakers and technology developers to showcase success stories in promoting and advancing low-carbon solutions to development challenges across the Asia and Pacific region. The forum is being hosted in Hunan Province’s capital, Changsha, in the People’s Republic of China (PRC) from 16 to 18 October.
“A low-carbon future is vital for the planet and vital for the effort in combating climate change,” said ADB Vice-President for Administration and Corporate Management Ms. Deborah Stokes. “So, this year’s forum is all about getting people together, looking at ideas, and getting down to work, particularly in promoting cooperation, innovation, and commercially scalable low-carbon solutions for green development in urban areas and the rural countryside, not just in the PRC but the rest of the Asia and Pacific region.”
With keynote speeches from former United Nations Secretary-General Mr. Ban Ki Moon and the Special Representative for Climate Change Affairs of the National Development and Reform Commission Mr. Xie Zhenhua, the forum will look into the industrial transformation needed for low-carbon economies including future energy services, pollution control, revolutions in building design, zero-waste cities, and other technological advances.
Ensuring a low-carbon growth path and development future for Asia and the Pacific is critical not just for the region’s population, but the entire world. Carbon emissions from the region have risen rapidly from 25 per cent of the global total in the 1990s to 40 per cent in 2012, and are expected to reach 50 per cent by 2030. Unabated climate change could also lead to significant economic losses for countries in Asia and the Pacific equivalent to about 10 per cent of the region’s total gross domestic product by 2100.
ADB has been working to address the effects of climate change and promote low-carbon growth in Asia and the Pacific, particularly through the introduction of new technologies and policy support. For instance, the ADB-supported Climate Technology Finance Center in Hunan Province has been demonstrating successful low-carbon initiatives that can be replicated elsewhere in the PRC and in the Asia and Pacific region. This includes the establishment of a low carbon technology venture fund; launch of an accelerator program to mentor early stage clean technology startups; and the creation of a low carbon technology network and market platform.
Last year’s forum brought together more than 500 people from 37 countries facilitating both North–South and South–South discussions on the latest low-carbon technologies and innovations.
ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. In 2018, it made commitments of new loans and grants amounting to $21.6 billion. Established in 1966, it is owned by 68 members—49 from the region.