Asia Can Lead on Green Growth by Working with Private Sector

DELHI, INDIA – At a forum today, Asian Development Bank (ADB) President Haruhiko Kuroda outlined steps countries in the Asia and the Pacific region are already taking to protect shared natural resources and called for more private sector involvement in the building of green infrastructure.

“Around the region, leaders are recognizing that a better quality of economic growth is possible—one that can simultaneously meet aspirations for greater economic prosperity and provide a cleaner and greener future,” Mr. Kuroda said in a keynote address at the annual Delhi Sustainable Development Summit.

“We must move toward deeper structural and systemic change in the way goods are manufactured and services provided. The green economy itself can become an engine of growth and the driver for a new generation of green jobs—bringing a higher quality of life,” he said.

The role of institutions like ADB is to use limited public sector funds to leverage the far more significant amounts of private capital needed to achieve green growth, Mr. Kuroda said. For its part, ADB supports green growth and sustainable development through mechanisms such as the Climate Investment Fund, under which multilateral development banks have mobilized $6.5 billion for developing countries, with $2.5 billion earmarked for Asia and the Pacific.

The Asia and Pacific region presents tremendous opportunities for green investment with its growing markets, still relatively low levels of consumption, and the need to fulfill enormous infrastructure requirements, Mr. Kuroda said.

Asia is already becoming a global leader in green investments, with many of these focusing on low-carbon power generation. The People’s Republic of China, for example, is now the world’s top installer of wind turbines and solar thermal systems. India has the fifth largest wind power capacity in the world, and is encouraging the rapid expansion of many biogas, solar, and other forms of renewable energy.

Separately, ADB and its partners announced the advent of the Sustainable Development and Climate Change Leadership Program, a platform for policymakers, the private sector and ADB to exchange knowledge, experiences and best practices on issues ranging from green growth and climate change to fundraising.

ADB also hosted a panel discussion on Asia 2050 – an in-depth publication commissioned by ADB to examine the challenges and opportunities facing the region over the next four decades. The book looks at what Asia needs to do to continue its dramatic economic transformation, which has already seen some of the fastest growth and sharpest poverty reduction rates in history.