Asian Development Bank (ADB) President Masatsugu Asakawa and UK Minister for Asia at the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office and ADB Alternate Governor Nigel Adams met today to discuss cooperation on shared priorities for Asia and the Pacific, including the need for a low carbon and climate resilient recovery from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
“The UK’s climate leadership is now critical as the next COP will be a clear turning point for enhancing the ambition toward a climate resilient, zero-carbon economy to meet the objective of the Paris Agreement,” Mr. Asakawa said. “ADB will continue supporting the dialogue in Asia and the Pacific toward a successful outcome at COP 26. I am sure there are many other opportunities for us to build on the already strong relationship between the UK and ADB, such as on gender—including girls’ education—support in fragile and conflict affected situations, deepening engagement with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations on green infrastructure, the COVID-19 response, and vaccine deployment.”
Glasgow in Scotland will host the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 26) in November 2021, having postponed the event this year due to the pandemic. The UK has identified several areas for attention at COP 26, including clean energy, clean transport, adaptation, and finance. Mr. Asakawa said that these are closely aligned with ADB’s Strategy 2030 operational priority on tackling climate change, building climate and disaster resilience, and enhancing environmental sustainability.
ADB has committed to provide cumulative climate financing of $80 billion by 2030 and ensure that at least 75% of the total number of projects committed will include climate actions. In 2019, ADB delivered more than $6.5 billion in climate finance from its own resources and expects to provide $5.5 billion in 2020, despite the COVID-19 pandemic under changed circumstances.
Mr. Asakawa thanked the UK for its strong support on the 13th replenishment of the Asian Development Fund (ADF 13) as well as the Technical Assistance Special Fund. “ADF 13 will be critical to respond to the COVID-19 crisis and support a strong inclusive and sustainable recovery in the poorest and most vulnerable countries of the region,” he said.
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.