Low Carbon Growth in Asia: 12 Things to Know | Asian Development Bank

Low Carbon Growth in Asia: 12 Things to Know

Article | 7 November 2016

Asia needs to embrace green growth by expanding its economies while reducing the emissions that drive climate change, according to the Asian Development Outlook Update 2016.

  1. If uncontrolled, climate change in Asia could lead to economic losses equivalent to 10% of the region’s gross domestic product by 2100, which would reverse many hard-won socioeconomic gains in the region.
  2. Emissions from Asia have risen rapidly, from 25% of the global total in the 1990s to 40% in 2012. The region could generate nearly 50% of all greenhouse gas emissions worldwide by 2030.
  3. To meet the global temperature goal of 2 degrees Celsius (2°C) above pre-industrial levels will require Asian countries to invest an additional $300 billion a year between now and 2050.
  4. Reducing greenhouse gas emissions reduces air pollution, making cities more livable and protecting the natural environment and its ecosystems. This could prevent nearly 600,000 deaths each year in Asia.
  5. Limiting warming to 2°C would expand forests, resulting in an estimated 45 million more hectares of forest cover in developing countries in Asia.
  6. In Asia and the Pacific, it is critical that energy production is made less carbon intensive, notably by deploying such renewables as wind, solar, and biomass and through carbon capture and storage.
  7. Southeast Asia has a higher deforestation rate than any other major tropical region, and 5 of the world’s 10 most endangered forests are in Asia. Reducing emissions from forest destruction and other non-energy activities can contribute nearly 20% the region’s emissions cuts.
  8. Asia stands to benefit from new carbon market opportunities. Economies in the region account for over 35% of world exports of clean technology and hold 22% of such patents.
  9. Asia can promote low carbon growth through policies that include putting a price on carbon emissions, instituting appropriate regulations, supporting investment in clean and efficient energy, and fostering international action.
  10. Regulations by Asian governments to lower emissions from vehicles, improve the energy efficiency of consumer goods, and encourage the use of renewable energy sources are needed.
  11. Fossil fuel subsidies, which are present in many Asian countries, undercut clean energy and climate change efforts. Halting such subsidies is crucial.
  12. Poor countries need help in meeting climate goals. Reducing global mitigation costs and distributing them more equitably is to compensate poorer countries is necessary.