Asia can gain “far more” from low-carbon transition — ADB


Developing Asia would require spending an additional net of $300 billion annually on clean energy infrastructure alone through 2050, says a new Asian Development Bank (ADB) report.

That would be the requirement in keeping the global temperature increase below 2 degrees Celsius, but developing Asia stands to “gain far more than it will need to pay to shift to low -carbon growth.”

“This is a substantial sum but the economic returns from adopting low-carbon policies needed to mitigate the increasingly devastating impacts of climate change far outweigh the costs,” ADB Deputy Chief Economist Juzhong Zhuang said.

“ADB estimates that the region can generate more than $2 in gains for each $1 of cost it bears to reach the Paris goal—if the right steps are taken.”

Around 90% of the developing Asia’s economies have pledged under the Paris Agreement on Climate Change to mitigate their greenhouse emissions. And if uncontrolled, climate change, may cut the region’s GDP by more than 10% by 2100, the ADB report said.

Actions to keep global warming below 2 degrees Celsius can lead to improved air quality and avoid nearly 600,000 premature deaths a year, the report says.  The same actions can also preserve over 45 million more hectares of forests.

Developing Asia can benefit from a development of a market to buy and sell carbon credits, as the region’s mitigation costs are lower than other parts of the world. The report said that a carbon market can reduce the mitigation costs by 50% versus countries acting alone.

Asia is the world’s fastest-growing source of carbon emissions, and its engagement is crucial for the world to have a chance in meeting the Paris Agreement temperature goal.