ADB Seminar

Achieving Climate Outcomes for Transformation

Saturday, 4 May 2024, 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm (Asia/Tbilisi)
Radisson Blu Iveria, Ballroom 1 & 2

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Opening Remarks

WooChong UmManaging Director General, ADB

WooChong Um is responsible for ensuring ADB-wide coherence on key initiatives and issues. He provides oversight to the Transformation Office, Office of Safeguards, and Department of Communications and Knowledge Management. Together with the Office of the President he also oversees the Office of the Ombudsperson, Office of Professional Ethics and Conduct, and Office of the Special Project Facilitator. He oversees various special initiatives which cut across ADB.

Keynote Addresses

Jim SkeaChair, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

Jim Skea was elected IPCC chair for the seventh assessment cycle in 2023. He was co-chair of IPCC Working Group III for the sixth assessment cycle. From 2009 -2023, he was professor of sustainable energy at Imperial College London. He was research director of the UK Energy Research Centre 2004-12 and director of the Policy Studies Institute 1998-2004. He was a member of the UK Committee on Climate Change from 2008-2018, and chair of Scotland’s Just Transition Commission from 2018-2023.

Avinash PersaudSpecial Advisor on Climate Change to the President, Inter-American Development Bank 

Avinash Persaud is special advisor on climate change to the President of the Inter-American Development Bank. He has over 30 years of experience in finance, public policy, and academia. He was special climate envoy to the Prime Minister of Barbados and an architect of the "Bridgetown Initiative." He is a member of the High-Level Expert Group on Climate Finance of the COP26, 27, and 28 presidencies and member of the first board of the new Climate Loss and Damage Fund. He previously served as chair of the Caribbean Community's Commission on the Economy and Commissioner of the UN Commission on Financial Reform. He is an emeritus professor of Gresham College in the UK.

Panelists

Mark BrownGovernor for Cook Islands, ADB; and Prime Minister, Cook Islands

Mark Brown has been the Prime Minister of Cook Islands since 2020. He was first elected a Member of Parliament of the Cook Islands in the 2010 general election and re-elected in the general elections of 2014, 2018, and 2022. He has served many years in the government public service; including head of the Ministry of Agriculture and as a policy advisor to the Prime Minister’s office.

Sri Mulyani IndrawatiGovernor for Indonesia, ADB; and Minister of Finance, Indonesia

Sri Mulyani Indrawati previously served in the same post of Indonesia finance minister from 2005 to 2010 before she was appointed managing director of the World Bank Group in June 2010. In 2016, she returned to public service and was appointed again as the minister of finance of Indonesia.

Joaquín J. Jugo Managing Director, Global Sovereign Solutions for Public Sector Group, Citi

Joaquín Jugo brings over 35 years of experience in the financial industry, primarily with Citigroup, where he currently leads Global Sovereign Solutions for the Public Sector Group. This group specializes in debt advisory, digitization, and ESG solutions for public entities worldwide. Previously, he managed Citigroup's public sector operations across Latin America, Central America, the Caribbean, and Ecuador.

Avinash PersaudSpecial Advisor on Climate Change to the President, Inter-American Development Bank 

Avinash Persaud is special advisor on climate change to the President of the Inter-American Development Bank. He has over 30 years of experience in finance, public policy, and academia. He was special climate envoy to the Prime Minister of Barbados and an architect of the "Bridgetown Initiative." He is a member of the High-Level Expert Group on Climate Finance of the COP26, 27, and 28 presidencies and member of the first board of the new Climate Loss and Damage Fund. He previously served as chair of the Caribbean Community's Commission on the Economy and Commissioner of the UN Commission on Financial Reform. He is an emeritus professor of Gresham College in the UK.

Samir SharifovGovernor for Azerbaijan, ADB; and Minister of Finance, Azerbaijan

Samir Sharifov started his professional career in 1983 as economist in a state-owned foreign trade association. In 1990, he moved to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the newly-independent Republic of Azerbaijan where he served as deputy head of the Department of International Economic Cooperation before joining the National Bank of Azerbaijan as department head, and where he later became executive director overseeing wide range of areas such as payments system, foreign exchange control, open market operations, reserves management, and others. In 2001, Mr. Sharifov was appointed as the first executive director of the State Oil Fund of the Republic of Azerbaijan (SOFAZ), a sovereign wealth fund of the country. In this capacity, he led the government commission on the extractive industries transparency initiative (EITI), making Azerbaijan the best-practice country globally through the publication of the first-ever EITI report. Mr. Sharifov is currently a governor for Azerbaijan at the IMF, ADB, and Black Sea Trade and Development Bank, as well as an alternate governor at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, Islamic Development Bank, and Asian Infrastructure and Investment Bank.

Fatima YasminVice-President for Sectors and Themes, ADB

Fatima Yasmin oversees the Sectors Group and the Climate Change and Sustainable Development Department at ADB. As part of ADB’s new operating model, Ms. Yasmin integrates sector and thematic expertise to provide holistic solutions in accordance with country programs. Leading innovative initiatives, she focuses on addressing climate change and regional development challenges. Her expertise positions ADB as a leader in development knowledge. She has 32 years of experience in macroeconomic management, public sector and fiscal policy reform, trade, and poverty reduction. Formerly senior secretary at Bangladesh’s Ministry of Finance, she holds an MBA from Dhaka University and a master’s in development economics from Australian National University. Ms. Yasmin also received a fellowship in public policy and human rights under the Hubert Humphrey Fellowship Program at Rutgers University in New Jersey, United States.

Moderator

Noelle O’BrienClimate Change Director, Climate Change and Sustainable Development Department, ADB

Noelle O’Brien leads a dynamic team of climate specialists at ADB on climate initiatives, engaging with developing member countries and other partners globally. With experience in climate change and natural resource management across Asia and Africa, she previously worked with UKAID and the Mekong River Commission. She directs efforts spanning upstream to downstream activities, strengthening ADB’s systems for climate action. Prior to her current role in ADB, she spearheaded projects in the Pacific region as a principal climate change specialist. Passionate about achieving transformative change, Ms. O’Brien collaborates on ADB’s ambitious climate agenda, driving impactful strategies for resilience and adaptation.

Racing against the rapidly closing window to secure a liveable and sustainable future, governments, multilateral development banks (MDBs), and other partners are doubling efforts to drive transformational change towardslow carbon and climate resilient development outcomes.

This seminar surfaced critical actions that governments can make to increase climate finance and the role of effective policies in achieving transformational climate outcomes.

Woochong Um underscored the importance of continuous cooperation among governments, MDBs, and the private sector to enable swift and expanded climate action.

Keynote speakers provided the science and policy backdrop for discussions on key actions for scaled up finance particularly in the context of the Bridgetown Initiative.

Jim Skea highlighted uneven progress in adaptation and its larger investment gaps compared with mitigation, and encouraged new ways to direct finance toward adaptation, including through stronger alignment of public and private sector efforts.

Avinash Persaud urged creative thinking among MDBs and governments on delivering the $2.4 trillion annual climate finance requirement including through private finance, such as by managing currency and macro risks, increasing focus on adaptation, and directing grants toward loss and damage.

Panelists shared ideas on key steps of governments and MDBs to unlock climate finance from various sources.

Fatima Yasmin highlighted how country platforms, such as the Bangladesh Climate Development Partnership, creates the space for in-country coordination to advance and align efforts and resources.

Sri Mulyani Indrawati emphasized the critical role of finance ministries in drawing in external finance through policies and programs, such as climate budget tagging, innovative financing, and the Energy Transition Mechanism.

Meanwhile, Mark Brown raised the need for tailored financial solutions for the Pacific to be reflective of the region’s needs and circumstances, which include increased concessional resources, balanced debt repayment strategies, and strengthened domestic resource mobilization.

Samir Sharifov stressed the urgency of reaching global consensus on the new collective quantified goal on climate finance, and the need for clear mechanisms to attract and mobilize finance.

Joaquín Jugo proposed assisting governments in strengthening project pipelines for private sector finance to flow in, including through facilities that provide project preparation support to improve its readiness for financing and execution.