Raising the Bar on Climate Ambition: Road to COP26

Tuesday, 4 May 2021, 6:30 pm–8:00 pm , GMT+8

 Road to COP 26 - 2021 Annual Meeting


Masatsugu Asakawa
President of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Chairperson of ADB’s Board of Directors

Sri Mulyani Indrawati
Governor for Indonesia, ADB; and Minister of Finance, Indonesia

John F. Kerry
US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate

Jun Ma
Chair, Green Finance Committee
China Society for Finance and Banking

Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum
Governor for Fiji, ADB; and Attorney-General and Minister for Economy, Public Enterprises,
Civil Service and Communications, Fiji

Alok Sharma
President Designate
26th United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26)

Ignazio Visco
Governor for Italy, ADB; and Governor, Bank of Italy


Barbara Buchner
Global Managing Director
Climate Policy Initiative (CPI)

Phatpuree Chinkulkitnivat
Senior Executive Vice President, Finance, Accounting, and Corporate Strategy
BCPG Public Company Limited


Zeinab Badawi
International Journalist and Broadcaster

Seminar summary

ADB President Masatsugu Asakawa and a high-level panel urged scaling up climate action in 2021 as countries recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. Leading up to the 26th session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP26), speakers called for raising ambitions, greater momentum, increasing international collaboration, and mobilizing finance and technology to implement the Paris Agreement.

Alok Sharma stressed showing the same urgency in tackling climate change as we have for COVID-19, saying that COP26 must be the moment we get the world on track to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement. Clean energy transition in Asia and ADB’s role in financing will be key to a green recovery and meeting the Paris Agreement goals. He urged ADB to scale up climate finance targets and mobilize further private sector finance.

Ignazio Visco highlighted the importance of global cooperation and the challenge of providing energy access while decarbonizing economies. The current recovery, he said, can be an opportunity to invest in innovative technologies and promote just transition, as also emphasized by G20 finance ministers and central bank governors.

Sri Mulyani Indrawati underscored the importance of addressing climate change with economic recovery from COVID-19. With finance being critical to achieving Indonesia’s nationally determined contributions toward the Paris Agreement, she urged the delivery of international climate finance beyond the $100 billion floor as agreed among governments. She discussed the importance of carbon pricing, carbon markets, and a just and affordable transition.

Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum emphasized the importance of predictable adaptation finance in the context of increasing climate risk. He urged countries to include a 2030 commitment in nationally determined contributions and underscored the blue economy opportunity and squarely addressing the loss and damage issue at COP26.

John F. Kerry stressed the urgency of the climate crisis, noting the criticality of the decade and imploring greater speed in climate action. The future economy lies in new technologies, creativity in finance for adaptation and resilience, and multilateral development banks meeting climate finance targets. He urged ADB to enhance its climate targets, end financing of coal, and have a restrictive fossil fuel financing policy.

Jun Ma discussed innovations in green finance in the People’s Republic of China and the importance of mobilizing green finance. He emphasized efforts in harmonizing taxonomies and sustainable finance under the G20.

Mr. Asakawa outlined how ADB is enhancing investments in adaptation and resilience through a holistic approach. He reiterated targets for the twelfth replenishment of ADB's Asian Development Fund (ADF 13)—which provides grants to ADB's lower-income developing member countries—in support climate mitigation and adaptation by 2024 (at least 35% by volume and 65% by number of projects), as well as the climate targets enshrined in ADB's Strategy 2030. He closed by noting ADB’s commitment to align its operations with the Paris Agreement.

The webinar was moderated by Zeinab Badawi, with additional interventions from Phatpuree Chinkulkitnivat, who spoke on how ADB support and collaboration can open doors for companies, and Barbara Buchner, who cited key factors in scaling up climate action including policy, finance, and transparency and accountability. 

Related links