Access to climate finance should be a key priority for Asia Pacific nations as governments design and implement a green and resilient recovery from the pandemic, said Manila-based Asian Development Bank president Masatsugu Asakawa.
Asakawa said the pandemic presents an opportunity to rebuild economies with more resilient and sustainable infrastructure and expanding access to finance is critical if developing countries in the Asia Pacific are to meet their Paris Agreement goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and help adapt to the adverse impacts of climate change.
“We can no longer take a business-as-usual approach to climate change. We need to put ambitious climate actions at the center of development,” he said.
ADB maintained that the increasing severity of climate impacts is undermining the development gains Asia Pacific has achieved in recent decades and that the region’s economic growth has also come at the expense of increased greenhouse gas emissions.
The ADB will be implementing a three-pronged strategy to expand access to finance for its developing members as they step up their response to the impacts of climate change.
The question for developing countries, especially those where the abysmal quality of governance has been exposed by the Covid-19 pandemic, is if their leaders and policy makers who have thus far been unable to mount a credible response to the current crisis, are capable of looking that far ahead and preparing their country for an eventual recovery that is greener, resilient, and sustainable.
For the nations that know what to do with the funds, it is being made available by institutions like the ADB. In nations like the Philippines that is currently struggling so badly that the recovery from the pandemic that is already within reach among other nations is still unimaginable, Filipinos can only hope that we have government officials who won’t drop the recovery ball when it is finally passed to them.*