The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and its partners are exploring ways of expanding green investments across Asia and the Pacific to better help promote growth, sustainable development and resilience in this climate change-vulnerable region.
On Tuesday , ADB spearheaded in Metro Manila its first Green Business Forum which seeks addressing Asia-Pacific’s green investment gap and related business concerns.
“The region is urbanizing and growing fast,” ADB President Takehiko Nakao said at the forum, citing factors raising urgency for increasing green investments.
Experts are promoting such investments so Asia-Pacific can avoid the pollutive and unsustainable growth path developed regions trekked and instead pursue low-carbon development in line with UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.
They also believe sound environmental management can be profitable.
It’s a view the business sector is increasingly accepting, noted Carmela Locsin, director-general of ADB’s sustainable development and climate change department.
“Businesses are recognizing that going green is good business,” she said at the forum.
She said the global market for environmental goods and services already exceeded $ 1 trillion in 2015.
Studies show such market can reach $1.4 trillion by 2020, she noted.
Japan and the rest of Asia accounted for some 22 percent of the market’s share last year, she continued.
Excluding Japan, however, she said Asia’s market share was a mere 12 percent so there’s need for measures to improve this situation.
“With investment needs ranging from $ 300billion to $1 trillion on a per year basis, this sizeable investment gap makes a very strong case for very robust, very active private investments,” she said.
Nakao re-assured ADB’s assistance in meeting such investment needs.
“ADB wants to be a stronger partner,” he said.
Asia has “great potential” to support the global agenda on environmental sustainability, he continued.
He cited need for governments in the region to create policy and regulatory frameworks that’ll promote green business which is essential in achieving environmental sustainability.
Earlier, ADB reported doubling its annual climate financing and setting $ 6billion annual lending to help Asia and the Pacific mitigate and adapt to climate change by 2020.
The bank also reported almost tripling its equity base from $17.5 billion to $ 49 billion by 2017.
According to ADB technical advisor Daniele Ponzi, ADB’s 2015 support for green business included 65 investments totaling $7.1 billion to help promote environmentally sustainable growth.
“Green business is profitable business activity that supports environmentally sustainable growth,” he said at the forum.
He also said ADB extended over $500 million in technical assistance for environmental management from 2001 to 2015.
The Department of Environment and Natural Resources will continue promoting area development to help protect the environment while generating green livelihood opportunities particularly for marginalized communities.
“It’s a science-based approach with a distinctive entrepreneurial thrust,” said DENR Secretary Regina Lopez at the forum.
She said DENR and its partners already identified 29 areas where the agency will pilot area development.
At this week’s bamboo and climate symposium in Metro Manila, Lopez assured DENR’s assistance in helping marginalized communities create respective area development models.
The communities can use such models in seeking climate funds for building resilience and pursuing sustainable development, she added.
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