MANILA, PHILIPPINES - The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Government of Australia, through its Global Carbon Capture and Storage Institute, have signed a trust fund agreement to support the capture and storage of rising levels of carbon emissions in Asia.
Under the agreement, Australia is supplying a A$21.5 million grant for the Carbon Capture and Storage Fund. The fund will support geological investigations and environmental studies into potential carbon dioxide storage sites, capacity building, and community awareness programs which can help accelerate the deployment of carbon capture and storage demonstration projects around Asia.
"Asia's share of worldwide energy-related carbon dioxide emissions is now three times bigger than it was 30 years ago, and under current trends it will soon be the globe's biggest emitter," said Bob Pegler, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of the Global Carbon Capture and Storage Institute. "This growing rise in greenhouse gas emissions, combined with other pollutants, threatens the sustainability of Asia's future growth, as well as its efforts to reduce poverty and to meet other Millennium Development Goals."
The new fund aims to support ADB's developing member countries (DMCs), with initial priority given to the People's Republic of China, India, Indonesia, and Viet Nam. Central and local governments, the private sector, and other entities eligible for ADB assistance will be able to tap it, with projects to be selected on criteria drawn up by Australia and ADB.
The Fund will form part of the Clean Energy Financing Partnership Facility (CEFPF). The CEFPF is an important tool to facilitate more investments in clean energy projects in ADB's DMCs. Its goal is to help DMCs improve energy security and transition to lower carbon economies. The CEFPF's five donor countries - Australia, Japan, Norway, Spain and Sweden - have committed a total of US$60.2 million to the facility since it was established in April 2007.
"ADB is committed to, and currently promoting, greater use of clean energy in our DMCs," said Werner Liepach, Principal Director of ADB's Office of Cofinancing Operations. "The CEFPF and funds like the Carbon Capture and Storage Fund provide quick access to much needed support for ADB's clean energy agenda and high priority clean energy investments in the region."
Starting in 2013, ADB will increase its target of clean energy investments to US$2 billion a year from a previous target of US$1 billion, in a bid to accelerate low-carbon growth and reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the region.