ADB panel highlights enormity of climate change financing challenge
Tashkent, Uzbekistan (UzDaily.com) --
Glacial melt, drought, desertification and reduced river flows are among the serious climate change impacts being experienced by countries in Central and West Asia, a seminar audience heard today.
"The need for urgent actions on climate change at the local, regional and global levels cannot be overstated, and poor and vulnerable groups are at greatest risk," said Ursula Schaefer-Preuss, ADB Vice-President for Knowledge Management and Sustainable Development.
"The good news is that there is a wide range of financing facilities now available that can help governments in Central Asia and elsewhere become more climate resilient and ensure their food and energy security."
The seminar, "Financing Climate Change and Sustainable Development Action in Asia and the Pacific," was held at ADB’s 43rd Annual Meeting in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.
Recent projections warn that increasing glacial melt and warmer temperatures may reduce river flows in Central Asia by as much as a third by 2040 to 2050. This in turn may disrupt hydropower, irrigation and potable water supply, greatly affecting the well-being of the region’s people.
The seminar featured lively discussion on the need for and the terms of climate change financing for developing countries in the Asia and Pacific. While there was a divergence of thought on some issues, participants agreed on the urgency for action, the enormity of financial requirements, and the need to attract private sector partners as public financing alone will not be adequate to the task.
India’s former Secretary of Environment and Forests Prodipto Ghosh indicated that while many view as ambitious the Copenhagen Accord target of $100 billion in annual climate change financing from 2020, this amount is only a fraction of estimated future global GDP.
He estimated that just 0.5% of the global GDP in the year 2030 would be somewhere between $560 billion and $675 billion. “So we are a long way from bridging this financing gap,” Mr. Ghosh said.
Despite the challenges, the panelists were unanimous in voicing their optimism that the world will make significant advancements in fighting climate change over the coming decade.