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Opening Remarks at the ADBI and ADB Seminar on Climate Change and Green Asia
Opening Remarks by ADB President Haruhiko Kuroda at the ADBI and ADB Seminar on Climate Change and Green Asia at the 45th Annual Meeting
Distinguished speakers, ladies and gentlemen:
Good afternoon. It gives me great pleasure to welcome you all to this joint ADB and ADB Institute seminar on Climate Change and Green Asia. I would like to extend a special welcome to our distinguished panel members, and thank them all for their continuous support for the study.
II. Sustainable Development in Asia
Asia is at a crossroads. The region's rapid economic growth has often come with concerns over environmental degradation. We are increasingly using resources at the cost of the environment.
Many policymakers now agree to the necessity to upgrade development paradigm to achieve sustainable growth. Unless we change, the hard-won gains in reducing poverty and improving the quality of life for Asian people could be reversed. Social inclusion and environmental protection must be at the heart of our efforts if we are to have long-term, sustainable development for all. There are encouraging signs that the region is taking on board the message that we must move toward low-carbon green growth. Many emerging economies have started to move toward a sustainable development model that makes green industries competitive and serves green technology markets. China, for example, has become the world's top installer of both wind turbines and solar photovoltaic systems. India is strongly encouraging the rapid expansion of bio-gas, solar, and other forms of low-carbon energy in rural areas through renewable energy certificates. Indonesia and many other countries have established clear targets to reduce carbon emissions. These are indications of their commitment to embark on a new development paradigm.
Based on the experiences of these countries, we can learn several lessons for us all.
First, ambitious medium-term targets at the national level and ambitious mitigation actions at the sector level are essential in creating strong momentum to change the behavior of "business as usual."
Second, low-carbon green technologies need to be widely diffused across countries through public–private partnerships and international cooperation.
Third, we have to mobilize more resources to meet enormous financing needs for green investment. And, at the same time, transparent and equitable governance structure to effectively manage and deploy these resources is critical.
Ladies and gentlemen:
ADB has been actively working to support our developing member countries in their endeavor toward sustainable development through finance, technical assistance, and policy dialogue. We are determined to continue our support while aiming to improve its effectiveness and efficiency.
Our Climate Change and Green Asia study highlights the experiences and lessons of Asian economies. It reviews and assesses low-carbon and green policies and practices in Asia, and identifies policy gaps and new opportunities for low-carbon green growth. With the involvement of policy makers and about 15 prominent regional think tanks, the study served as a platform to help forge a regional perspective on climate change and green growth. It is part of ADB's overall efforts to identify opportunities and obstacles in tackling climate change and greening Asia's future growth.
I believe that, with our distinguished participants, this session will provide a productive and insightful discussion based on the Climate Change and Green Asia study.