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" "COUNTRIES INASIA AND THE PACIFIC HAVEBEEN ACTING AGGRESSIVELY TOBOTH REIGN INGHG EMISSIONSAND PREVENT POTENTIALLY CATASTROPHICCLIMATE CHANGEIMPACTS ONHUMAN LIFE ANDLIVELIHOODSf the climate change battle is to be won, itmust be won in Asia and the Pacific. TheAsia and Pacific region is home toapproximately half of the world'spopulation and two-thirds of the world's poor. It is morevulnerable to climate change than any other region inthe world. Climate change presents a fundamentalthreat to the region's hard-fought socioeconomic gains.Large agrarian populations reliant on natural resources,a large number of near-poor who are vulnerable tosliding back into poverty, and many large, low-lyingcoastal cities exposed to more powerful storms andrising sea levels are significantly at risk. While Asia's greenhouse gas emissions are very low inper capita terms compared to industrialised countries,they are rapidly increasing. The region currently accountsfor slightly more than 30 per cent of global CO2emissions from energy consumption; without concertedaction, this figure will rise to about 45 per cent by 2030. As the negotiations under the United NationsFramework Convention on Climate Change movesouthward, to CancĂșn, Mexico, delegates will onceagain wrestle with the issues faced by the world's mostdynamic economies. Rapidly expanding economiesrequire increasing access to energy, transport and urbaninfrastructure as well as natural resources that are aboon to growth, but often contribute to climate change. In Copenhagen last year, we saw a clear divergence ofviews concerning "common but differentiatedresponsibilities", and this discussion will continue intoCOP 16. In the meantime, countries in Asia and thePacific have been acting aggressively to both reign inGHG emissions and prevent potentially catastrophicclimate change impacts on human life and livelihoods.Large-scale investments in renewable energy are beingmade to meet burgeoning energy demand. ThePeople's Republic of China became the world's largestinvestor in renewable energy in 2009. It has doubled itswind power capacity for six consecutive years, from 0.3GW in 2003 to 25.8 GW in 2009. In the process, Chinahas developed the second largest user of wind power inthe world, and the top annual installer of new capacity.In India, promoting clean energy is a necessity toaddress the energy deficit and to provide access in off-grid areas. By March 2010, the proportion ofrenewable energy-based grid-connected capacity tototal capacity was already about 10 per cent, or animpressive 17,222 MW. India is ahead of the globalcurve in terms of the smart grid. The launch of theIndia Smart Grid Forum earlier this year in New Delhidemonstrated India's determination to move forwardwith this technology which - through "smart"information technologies that link webs of energy usersand generation points - could drastically improveenergy efficiency and access to energy in remote areas.What is more, countries in Asia and the Pacific aresetting self-imposed emissions reductions targets. TheGovernment of Indonesia, for instance, has pledged toreduce its emissions by 26 per cent by 2020 comparedto current trends, and it has backed this with a pledgeof about US$9 billion. Furthermore, Indonesia hasindicated its willingness to further reduce emissions byup to 41 per cent if it receives international support.China is reducing "energy intensity" by 20 per cent(equivalent to 1.5 gigatons CO2 emissions) over the five-year period ending this year. China also recently announced its intention to consider a domestic carbon trading scheme that will provide a market mechanism for entities within the country to meet their future emission reduction obligations.And the Maldives last year famously declared its intentionASIA FIGHTS FOR LOW-CARBON FUTUREREGIONAL 050PERSPECTIVESHARUHIKO KURODA, PRESIDENT, ASIAN DEVELOPMENT BANK (ADB)I

REGIONAL PERSPECTIVES051to become the world's first carbon-neutral country.Advancements in technology can help developingcountries leapfrog the energy-intensive phase ofdevelopment that industrialised countries experiencedand bring them directly to cleaner solutions with lower GHG emissions. A study commissioned by theAsian Development Bank (ADB) and led by McKinsey &Company reveals that about half the global abatementpotential in 2020 is in developing Asia and 60 per centof this will require deployment of low-carbon technology. ADB is working with these and other countries in theregion - and in partnership with a wide array of otherdevelopment agencies, civil society organisations, andthe private sector - to bring about a transition to low-carbon economic development and to build resilience toclimate change. We have succinctly described ourclimate change programme as providing "innovativefinancing and financing for innovation". This may be abit simplistic - ADB's climate change programme ismulti-faceted - but it demonstrates the importance weplace on these two areas. Three emerging initiatives andone ongoing programme supported by ADB together withpartners illustrate how we are putting this into practice.First, with technical inputs from McKinsey & Company,we have successfully completed a feasibility study on an"Exchange to Transfer Low Carbon Technologies to Asiaand the Pacific" initiative. The initiative will aim toestablish a marketplace (or "exchange") to enable andaccelerate the transfer of these technologies tomanufacturers in Asia and the Pacific. The risks are highbut the benefits of success will be tremendous. Theoperating cost of the marketplace is estimated to beabout US$20 million over the initial three years before itstarts making a profit, but it would potentially acceleratethe deployment of these technologies by a year in 2020and four years by 2030. This will result in annualgreenhouse gas (GHG) abatement of about 75 milliontonnes (MT) by 2020, rapidly increasing to about 1,300MT by 2030 in ADB's developing member countries.Second, design of a fund to mobilise an estimatedUS$2 billion to US$5 billion from pension funds,sovereign wealth funds and private sector investors toinvest in low-carbon infrastructure assets and servicesin the Asia and Pacific region is about to get underway.The proposed "Climate Public Private PartnershipFund" would support seminal work led by HRH ThePrince of Wales and the University of CambridgeProgramme for Sustainability Leadership together withprivate sector leaders, including from "Pensions 8".Together with the United Kingdom's Department forInternational Development and the InternationalFinance Corporation, ADB aims to help establish thefund as an investment vehicle for resource efficientand low-carbon infrastructure and services. Third, an "Asia Climate Change and Clean EnergyVenture Capital Initiative" is being set up to provide earlystage finance and advisory assistance to help newtechnology products become more competitive andaffordable to the large consumer base in developing Asia. Fourth, the Climate Investment Funds (CIFs), approvedin mid-2008, are a collaborative effort among the fivemulti-lateral development banks and countries tobridge the financing and learning gap between now andthe achievement of a post-2012 global climate changeagreement. With pledges of over US$6 billion, the CIFspromote scaled-up, transformational change incountries around the world, including several in Asia.For countries in Asia and the Pacific - as indeed for othercountries around the world - so much of the climatechange challenge boils down to issues of security: securityof energy resources, security of food production, andsecurity of people. These are fundamental developmentconcerns. ADB will continue to support our developingmember countries, in concert with our partners, in anaggressive response to this major global challenge. n