Combatting climate change: How can Asia and the Pacific respond to climate finance risks?

ADBI News Release | 08 May 2024

The ADBI-ADB Asian Climate Finance Dialogue continued in Tbilisi on 2 May. An event at ADB’s Annual Meeting in the Georgian capital brought together leaders in climate finance and regulation to explore how the region’s financial policies can contribute to address the growing risks of climate change and scale up private climate finance.

ADBI Dean Tetsushi Sonobe highlighted the important role of the region’s financial supervisors and regulators and the need to improve corporate climate disclosure in order to direct impactful investments to build a low carbon transition. Sayuri Shirai, ADBI’s Advisory for Sustainable Policies, elaborated on the main challenges curtailing climate finance and the need for more data on key metrics - particularly standardized ones on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions – but also on the need for more awareness among central banks, regulators and governments.

During a panel discussion multiple perspectives and ideas on the current challenges and steps forward were presented by panelists Chuchi Fonacier, Deputy Governor of Philippines’ Central Bank, Biman Prasad, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance, Fiji, and Azalina Adham, Managing Director of Malaysia’s Securities Commission.

Deputy Prime Minister Biman made the point that while mitigating GHG emissions is crucial for the future, Pacific nations are already living with an existential threat from climate change and there is a greater need for more climate finance for adaptation.

Adaptation is the Philippines’ priority climate action, according to Deputy Governor Fonacier, who stated that mitigation is strongly pursued and necessary for a low carbon transition. She also stated that many groups have to work together to make an effective, available climate finance ecosystem, including regulators, financial service providers, multilateral organizations, rating agencies and academia.

Managing Director Adham provided some perspective from Malaysia but also a wider ASEAN view where there is a large variety of risk across sectors and countries. She outlined financial policies and key areas to develop further such as establishing instruments to avoid stalling of funding, setting standards, such as common taxonomy, and disclosures.

The next Asian Climate Finance Dialogue will take place in Q3 2024.