MANILA, PHILIPPINES - The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is providing a $3 million grant to expand its clean energy program to involve more developing member countries.
ADB will explore energy efficiency market opportunities in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Mongolia, and Uzbekistan through a broad range of policy and financial support. These countries join the People's Republic of China, India, Indonesia, Pakistan, Philippines, and Viet Nam identified by ADB as having significant potential for clean energy investments.
The grant will be used to assist in developing projects for possible ADB funding that will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve energy security through greater deployment of clean energy technologies in their respective energy markets.
Aside from investments to improve energy supply efficiency and harness renewable energy and cleaner fuels, ADB is also promoting energy efficiency among end-users in its projects.
The grant supports the Energy Efficiency Initiative (EEI), launched by ADB in 2005, to ramp up ADB's operations in clean energy to $1 billion a year starting 2008. ADB crossed over the $1 billion threshold in June 2008. The grant will enable ADB to sustain the level of clean energy investments above the $1 billion annual target through 2010.
EEI is being implemented in three phases spanning five years up to 2010. The first phase was concluded in 2006 with ADB Management endorsing the need for an expanded and sustained action in clean energy investment.
The ongoing second phase calls for the formulation of country and regional strategies and action plans on reaching EEI targets and strengthening the ability of ADB to scale up, monitor, and evaluate activities under EEI. Among its major outputs is the establishment of the Clean Energy Financing Partnership Facility to supplement ADB's regular funding sources.
The final phase, which is being supported by the ADB grant, will implement the strategies and action plans and include expanded efforts to widen the reach of EEI activities beyond the scope of the second phase.
While climate change is a global concern, it is particularly important to take action in the Asia and Pacific region, as it is home to more than half of the world's poor who will suffer the most from its negative effects.
Developing Asia currently accounts for 29% of the world's energy-related carbon dioxide emissions, three times more than its share three decades earlier. The region's current share is expected to increase to 42% by 2030. If deforestation and emissions from landfills and industrial sources are to be taken into account, the region will contribute more.
"Unless current development patterns change, the region will find itself increasingly straining the environment, with negative consequences to its future well-being and that of the rest of the world," said Samuel Tumiwa, Senior Energy Specialist of ADB's Regional and Sustainable Development Department.
For their part, ADB's developing member countries are becoming more concerned about the problems brought about by climate change and are coming up with strategies and programs for climate change mitigation and adaptation.