The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and Green Finance Committee of China Society for Finance and Banking cohosted a webinar on the role of nature-positive stimulus packages in recovery from the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
The webinar aimed to shed some light on the short and medium-long term socio-economic impact of COVID-19 on Asian economies and to discuss how to integrate green investments in existing or forthcoming fiscal stimulus packages and recovery plans,
Experts from the People’s Republic of China (PRC), ADB, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the World Economic Forum, and Stanford University participated in the event. Key speakers discussed about the opportunities for integrating natural capital investments into green stimulus packages toward achieving the Sustainable Development Goals in the PRC and the Asia and Pacific region.
Chairman of the China Green Finance Committee Ma Jun emphasized the need for a paradigm shift toward national expenditure in natural capital assets, green gross domestic product, a low-carbon economy, and climate resilient projects. He presented green financing tools to design projects with quantifiable socio-environmental benefits and promote cross-regional ecological compensation mechanisms in the PRC.
ADB Director General for East Asia James Lynch highlighted the importance of enabling ecological protection and high-quality development in the PRC. He stressed that Yellow River basin’s green development will be a priority to stimulate economic activities while integrating ecosystem management, human, environmental and animal health into a “One health” approach. “A green growth model is the way forward to build resilient agricultural supply chains, enable rural development, reduce health risks, halt biodiversity loss and address climate change in the basin,” he said. “Holistic and integrated ecosystem management along with strong policy and regulatory frameworks are needed to build the momentum for changed mindsets and environmentally sustainable results in the Yellow River. The PRC can lead the way to build back better in the Asia and Pacific region.”
Dr. Ma and Mr. Lynch stressed the importance of the private sector and innovative finance mechanisms to leverage public expenditure in natural capital, sustainable agriculture, and biodiversity conservation. They expressed their willingness to build partnerships, foster knowledge, and facilitate dialogue among policymakers, national and local governments, while promoting investments to balance ecological protection and high-quality development in the PRC.
They concluded that COVID-19 can be used as an accelerator to embrace future structural change and spur green economic recovery in the PRC and the Asia and Pacific region.
ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. Established in 1966, it is owned by 68 members—49 from the region.