Key Takeaways

The Asian Development Bank is piloting a study into the Energy Transition Mechanism (ETM), which aims to accelerate the retirement of coal-fired power stations and unlock new investments in clean, renewable energy to replace them.

At COP26 in Glasgow, ADB, along with Indonesia and the Philippines, launched the ETM Southeast Asia Partnership which aims to retire 5-7 coal-fired power stations in those countries in the coming years. The launch event was attended by an array of high-level representatives from government, the private sector, and philanthropies.

Below are excerpts from some of the speeches from the event.

"I am pleased by the Asian Development Bank's work to accelerate the decommissioning of coal facilities. The world needs forward-thinking creative approaches to financing, especially from the multilateral development banks. And we need to find creative solutions so that our public funds crowd in additional private investment, as the bank is aiming to do here."

Janet Yellen
Secretary, US Department of the Treasury

"The ETM is an ambitious plan that enables all of us in Indonesia to upgrade clean energy infrastructure and accelerate the clean energy transition towards net zero emissions in a just and affordable manner. We need low-cost funding to build the new renewable energy and respond to growing demand."

Sri Mulyani Indrawati
Minister of Finance, Indonesia
Chair, Coalition of G20 Finance Ministers for Climate Action

"This is envisioned to become the largest emission mitigation program in the world. This project will help us to accelerate the retirement of coal plants in the country by at least 10-15 years on average through a normative financing mechanism. It is intended to boost the growth of renewable energy in an equitable, scalable, and market-based approach. The clean energy transition in the Philippines will attract investments in renewable energy, create jobs locally, and promote national growth."

Carlos Dominguez III
Secretary of Finance and Chairperson-designate
Climate Change Commission, Philippines

"ADB is joining the governments of Indonesia and the Philippines to formally launch a partnership today to pilot ETM in Southeast Asia. I am thankful to the governments of the US, UK, Japan and Denmark, stakeholders from the private sector, and philanthropic foundations who are joining us in support of this important effort. The pilot will seek to retire or repurpose 5-7 coal-fired power plants in the pilot countries in the near-term. Repurposed plants will be converted to renewable energy generation or alternative uses."

Masatsugu Asakawa
President, ADB

"It is only by working together that we will reach our destination and this partnership exemplifies that. I'm sure it will play a big part to help Southeast Asia make the shift to net zero, and to do this faster and more fairly."

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, UK

"The ETM program provides a scalable and market-based method to accelerate the retirement of coal-fired power plants and to increase investments in renewables. This is exactly what we need. I'll follow the deployment of and development of ETM closely, and I'm confident it can contribute to the enormous challenge lying ahead of us. Let's together consign coal to history."

Jeppe Kofod
Minister of Foreign Affairs, Denmark

"Japan has been emphasizing the importance of transition finance to achieve the 1.5-degree goal, especially in the Asia and the Pacific region, where countries heavily rely on coal-fired electricity. Japan therefore fully supports the innovative ETM, which plays a critical, important role in promoting the smooth transition from coal to clean energy, while ensuring universal access to affordable and reliable energy."

Masato Kanda
Vice-Minister for International Affairs, Ministry of Finance, Japan

"This specific energy transition mechanism, which is a priority project of this new (GEAPP) alliance, illustrates three core values that I hope that we can live up to in many other collaborations. The first is partnership. These efforts only work if they are led by countries themselves, and country leaders have to do, and have done in this case, significant political work, and significant design and structuring work to make sure that these programs make sense for their countries, for their politics, for their communities, and ultimately, for lifting people up. The second is innovation, and this is such an extraordinary example of how public and private and philanthropic and multilateral development bank resources can come together to be so much more than any one of those individual institutional types could finance on their own. And the third is results, and this is perhaps the hardest part. The more we can illustrate how these collaborations led to concrete results against carbon reduction, access expansion, and ultimately the creation of jobs, the more momentum we can build so we have many other public sector donors and, more importantly, other private investors stand with and stand behind these efforts."

Raj Shah
President, The Rockefeller Foundation

"I want to thank the Asian Development Bank for its work, which will help bring many benefits. Cutting coal use doesn't just reduce the risks we face from climate change, it also reduces air pollution that kills so many people, including in Asia. Today's announcement will help to jumpstart more climate finance that helps to retire coal plants faster and improve many lives."

Michael Bloomberg
UN Secretary General’s Special Envoy on Climate Ambitions and Solutions

"I understand the challenge of growing and greening at the same time. It's complex and it's difficult. I'm thrilled with the progress the Asian Development Bank has made taking the ETM idea and putting it on a path toward implementation. With the right principles and enabling frameworks in place, I believe ETM has the potential to empower developing countries to make a transition away from coal to renewable energy without sacrificing other development needs. If we're to meet the climate challenge, all countries have to move faster and fairly. This is the principle behind the ETM."

Donald Kanak
Chairman of Prudential Insurance Growth Markets and Originator of ETM

"We really admire what ADB is doing. It's something which will open up a floodgate of opportunities once the first few transactions happen and people see that, megawatt to megawatt, it can be done. You can transition in a just manner from polluting coal technology to clean technology."

Malik Amin Aslam
Federal Minister and Adviser to Prime Minister of Pakistan for Climate Change

"This is called the energy transition mechanism, but to me it's an entire economy and society transition mechanism because it's not only energy that needs to be transformed—our economy, your economy, their economy is based on this fossil fuel base. Rise to the expectation from stakeholders towards the ADB to take the courageous leadership to show the way."

Naoko Ishii
Executive Vice President, The University of Tokyo and Director, Center for Global Commons

"[ADB] as a development institution is looking beyond today's boundaries and creating mechanisms to bring that new world into reality. Of all of the dialogue we're having, I have to congratulate you on the innovation, the ambition, and the creativity that you're bringing to the world of public-private partnerships. We have to turn this now into very tangible execution that delivers substantive benefits."

Noel Quinn
Group Chief Executive, HSBC

"We're on the precipice of something really incredible and the chance to think about how we can use these pilots as opportunities to both make things happen for the Philippines, Indonesia, and across Asia in the ADB portfolio, but also thinking about how we can build something that drives further investment from the private sector and incentives to actually participate. Take risks. Do the work; try it on. Work hard, fail fast, and fix it. We don't have any time to continue to talk, we need to take action. We have to give each other the space and grace that solutions may not be the right one but at least we're trying to change the climate for future generations."

Elizabeth Yee
Executive Vice President and Chief of Staff, The Rockefeller Foundation
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