Asian Development Bank (ADB) is to substantially increase its clean energy investments to $2 billion a year from a previous target of $1 billion, in a bid to accelerate low carbon growth and reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the region.
The new investment target is part of ADB's Energy Efficiency Initiative (EEI). It was announced by ADB president Haruhiko Kuroda during the high-level dialogue on Climate Change in Asia and the Pacific, that took place at ADB's headquarters this week.
"While $2 billion annually is a significant commitment, this represents only a fraction of the region's financing needs in the area of clean energy. But we expect that this contribution will catalyze significant additional resources from the private sector, carbon markets and other sources," said Kuroda. The new target will take effect from 2013 and adds to ADB's already significant clean energy investments. In 2008, ADB achieved the $1billion a year target set at the outset of the EEI four years ago. Among ADB's many innovative clean energy investments are power transmission enhancement in Azerbaijan; wind power projects in the People's Republic of China (PRC) and India; hydro power development in Bhutan, PRC and Vietnam; plans for energy-efficient lighting for low-income households in the Philippines and a biomass power plant in Thailand.
ADB also supports the improvement and expansion of energy-efficient mass transit systems in several Asian cities under the Sustainable Transport Initiative. Making buildings and transport systems more energy efficient is seen as the most cost-effective way of reducing Asia's fast growing energy demand, improving supply-side efficiency, lowering greenhouse gas emissions and reducing countries' reliance on expensive fossil fuel imports.