How Cofinancing Spurs Private Investments in Climate Solutions and Gender Equity across Asia and the Pacific

Video | 13 July 2021

The Government of Canada is a key partner in ADB’s efforts to establish an enabling environment for private sector climate financing in Asia and the Pacific. Learn about the cofinancing facility that helps the region tackle climate change and promote gender and development.

The story of growth in Asia and the Pacific is one of opportunity and challenge.

Economic growth and digital connectivity are lifting communities from poverty across the region. But climate change threatens this progress, and women are too often the last to benefit.

To seize opportunities and overcome challenges, a vibrant private sector is essential.

It boosts economies. And it can also deliver innovative climate solutions, helping the region’s transition to a low-carbon economic growth path. 

In 2020, the Asian Development Bank committed $4.5 billion in loans, investments, and grants to support a healthy private sector.

"The private sector is key to achieving our Sustainable Development Goals. However, market imperfections and levels of perceived risks are the most common barriers for private engagements in developing countries. There is also a need for a balance in risk and impact. So it’s a constant tension between impact versus return. Our involvement in a transaction helps partners structure bankable, environmentally sound, inclusive, and transparent projects," explains Suzanne Gaboury, Director General of ADB's private sector operations. "We are proud to have a strong base of trusted partners that provide concessional funding, technical assistance grants, and risk mitigation. These instruments are frequently used by ADB to catalyze private sector investments and create investible opportunities that can deliver development impacts."

The Government of Canada has been a non-regional member of ADB since 1966. It is a key partner in ADB’s efforts to establish an enabling environment for private sector climate financing in Asia and the Pacific region. 

"The Asian Development Bank is a long-standing partner for Canada. We appreciate in particular the scope and excellence of its programming, the ability to innovate, the well-managed systems, and the ability to report and tell stories on what our investments are achieving," shares Sue Szabo, Director General, Innovative and Climate Finance for Global Affairs Canada.

ADB works with Canada through two funds: The Canadian Climate Fund for the Private Sector in Asia (CFPS) and its successor CFPS II. The funds provide over $230 million in concessional financing and technical assistance grants to eligible ADB developing member economies.

These investments are blended with ADB’s own financing to encourage private sector participation in projects delivering climate solutions. In southeast Viet Nam, ADB joined with the Canadian funds to finance the installation of floating solar panels for the first time in the country. The project has increased Viet Nam’s solar power generation capacity and work in the plant generated jobs and economic opportunities.

"The Da Mi floating solar power project has a capacity of 47.5 MW. I am proud to have participated in this project because this project has opened opportunities for Da Mi locals. During the implementation process, the contractor employed local residents to work at the site. And during operations, our company also employed local residents to work with us." 
-Nguyen Ngoc Tuan, employee at the Da Mi floating solar project
Viet Nam Floating Solar Energy Project

Another key goal for ADB and Canada is to empower women and girls.

In Eastern Indonesia, investments to develop four solar power plants also support training programs for livelihood and skills development of Indonesian women.

Entrepreneurship training helps create business opportunities for women in the communities near the Likupang project site. At Lombok island, the project has provided technical training to improve the skills of Indonesian women seeking jobs in renewable energy.

"In 2018 Vena Energy offered a training opportunity here at Lombok Island. I registered because I was interested to learn a new skill. At the beginning of the training, I was intimidated because the participants were predominantly male, women trainees like me were not common. And we, women, tried to adjust and adapt with our male co-trainees.

But I was motivated to finish the training because of the benefits of working in a good company located in my own village. It would also keep me close to my family. With the support and encouragement from my husband, I was able to overcome my hesitations. Learning the same skills as my male co-trainees, I eventually realized that there is not much difference to what we can do. And through this training, I gained new friends and eventually got a job at Vena Energy as an operations and maintenance staff."
- Fatma Mulyana, Vena Energy staff at Lombok Island
Eastern Indonesia Renewable Energy Project (Phase 2)

"Canada and the ADB share the view that women and girls are powerful agents of change. Involving local women in the design and the operations of projects is increasingly important. In this way, we can bring together the nexus of climate, jobs, and gender equality. The private sector operations department at the ADB is an important partner for Canada in the fight against climate change. We’re really pleased with the progress of the two phases of the Canada climate fund for the private sector in Asia and we look forward to future collaboration," says Szabo.

ADB’s partnership with Canada is delivering concessional financing urgently needed for climate solutions and to empower women and girls.

It plays a key role in helping the private sector to initiate, scale up, and replicate high-impact projects. This is helping to reduce poverty and drive the region’s development.

ADB and the Government of Canada are working together to help developing economies in Asia and the Pacific map a pathway to clean and inclusive growth.