Meeting global demand for energy and natural resources is destabilizing our climate, and threatening the development and security of Asia and the Pacific. The poor are particularly vulnerable to these changes and are already suffering from rising sea levels and increasingly devastating storms, droughts, and floods. Combined with other strains on the environment, these forces could reverse hard-won development gains.
Working with our partners, ADB is responding to the growing need for innovative policies, institutions, and investments to lead the region to a low-carbon and climate-resilient future.
With more than half the world’s population and two-thirds of its poor, the Asia and Pacific region has seen remarkable economic expansion over the past decades. But progress has come at a high cost to the environment and, as a consequence, to human development.
Having become a main driver of the climate change crisis, the region jeopardizes its own development. If future production and consumption patterns remain carbon intensive,Asia’s developing countries will account for more than 40 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions in the next decade.
Consequences of climate change for Asia and the Pacific
- Decreasing freshwater availability, particularly in large river basins, threatening water, energy, and food security.
- Declining crop yields in Central, West and South Asia, falling by up to 30%.
- Rising sea levels, threatening low-lying coastal areas and island nations.
- Increasing risk of flooding in coastal areas, especially in the densely populated coastlines of South, East, and Southeast Asia.
- Melting glaciers, leading to increased flooding, decreased summer river flows, landslides and erosion.
- Growing pressures for large-scale migration.
- Jeopardizing sources of livelihoods, particularly for the poor in highly vulnerable areas.
- Increasing health risks from heat waves, vector-borne diseases, and water shortages and contamination.
- Deepening economic damage from the combined and cumulative effects of these impacts.
Moving to a low-carbon and climate-resilient future
Urgent action is needed to integrate both mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions and climate change adaptation measures into development planning and investments. Mitigation costs in developing countries are predicted to grow to over $100 billion per year by 2030, while adaptation cost estimates for Asia and the Pacific are in the order of $40 billion per year between now and 2050.
For the massive financing required to combat climate change, the key will be using limited public sector funds to leverage significant amounts of private capital, and to get the right technologies into the hands of as many partners as possible, as quickly as possible.
ADB plays an important role in leading the region to a green growth path through financing and innovative technologies. From 2009 to 2010, ADB invested more than $8 billion in 227 loans, grants, and technical assistance for which climate change mitigation and/or adaptation comprised a substantial component of the entire project.
In line with its Strategy 2020, ADB is integrating climate change into its planning and investment to ensure continued economic growth and a sustainable future for all in Asia and the Pacific.