ADB's Focus on Environment
In the Spotlight
ADB signed facilities of a total of $250 million in loans to Arctic Green Energy Corporation and Sinopec Green Energy Geothermal Company Limited to expand environmentally sustainable district heating services in the People's Republic of China.
ADB has secured $190 million in total funding—comprising of $85 million in grants and $105 million in concessional loans—from the Green Climate Fund for its climate change projects in Cambodia, Mongolia, and Tajikistan.
ADB and the Government of Nepal handed over the newly reconstructed Shree Kali Devi Primary School in Kavre District to the community. The April 2015 earthquake had destroyed five classrooms and other school facilities.
Asia and the Pacific are exceptionally exposed to climate change. ADB's report presents the latest regional projections and a comprehensive assessment of the potential impact on agriculture, marine ecosystems, human health, urban areas, security, migration, and trade.
Environmental sustainability is a prerequisite for economic growth and poverty reduction in Asia and the Pacific. ADB's long-term strategic framework for 2008-2020 (or Strategy 2020) identifies environmentally sustainable growth as a key strategic development agenda, and environment as a core area for support.
While economies in Asia and the Pacific continue to grow, the natural environment is under increasing pressure. Major ecosystems are under threat. Loss of biodiversity is massive as life support systems on land and in the oceans are being degraded. The region is the fastest growing source of new greenhouse gas emissions in the world; several countries are among the most vulnerable to climate change and natural disasters. Cities in Asia are growing at an unprecedented pace, with 44 million added to city populations every year. The resulting congestion, waste, pollution, and associated health impacts remain key challenges in sustaining urban development.
Critical thresholds or “tipping points” may be approaching, beyond which the environment could enter a new state where significant changes would become accelerated, unpredictable, and irreversible. In addition, the gap between the demand for natural resources and the environment’s ability to replenish those resources, or its biocapacity, is widening. In Asia and the Pacific, this gap has important economic and social implications as environmental damage has started to threaten prospects for continued economic growth and poverty reduction. Maintaining natural capital must therefore be a crucial goal for countries.
Given these concerns, the concept of green growth or environmentally sustainable growth has gained increasing attention. Green growth has great potential to provide a clear and focused policy agenda to pursue sustainable economic growth, while improving resilience to climate change and other shocks, and preventing environmental degradation, biodiversity loss, and unsustainable natural resource use.