Speech by President Takehiko Nakao, Asian Development Bank, at the Tree Planting Ceremony on 5 June 2015 in ADB Headquarters, Manila, Philippines, to commemorate World Environment Day (as drafted).
Ladies and gentlemen, good morning.
Today, ADB joins the global community in commemorating World Environment Day. The theme for this year’s celebration emphasizes our responsibility to make changes in our consumption patterns to ensure a sustainable future.
It is also important to remind ourselves that this year, the global community is set to adopt a set of sustainable development goals to replace the MDGs. Environment features prominently in proposed sustainable development goals. As a development institution, we will have an important task to help our DMCs achieve these sustainable development goals.
In the mid-term review of our Strategy 2020, we sharpened our priorities on environment and climate change to enable us to address existing and emerging challenges in our DMCs.
In 2014, we invested about $7.7 billion or about 57% of our total investments that support environmental sustainability, this includes, investments in renewable energy, energy efficiency, sustainable urban transport, and biodiversity conservation. A total of $3.2 billion of our investments are for climate change mitigation and adaptation. ADB’s clean energy investments exceed the target of $2 billion. Our sustainable transport initiative and green and livable cities initiatives will significantly contribute to a sustainable future.
While helping our DMCs to move to shift to sustainable growth paths, ADB has been setting an example by doing more and better with fewer natural resources. We have set targets to reduce our consumption of water, electricity, and paper and production of solid wastes at the Headquarters building.
Twenty years ago, then ADB President Mitsuo Sato planted a tree here in our garden to commemorate World Environment Day in 1995. Ten years ago, in 2005, then ADB President Haruhiko Kuroda also planted a tree to contribute to the greening of the ADB Headquarters building. These trees continue to grow and provide shade and oxygen and are reminders of our dependency upon and the benefits derived from a healthy natural environment.
Today, just as my predecessors did in the past, I am honored to plant a tree in our lagoon to signify my support for sustainability. May this tree serve as a reminder of ADB’s commitment to a sustainable future for the Asia-Pacific region and inspire action from staff to protect the environment.