Bangkok (ESCAP News) — Finance and sector ministers and high-level officials from more than 30 countries in Asia-Pacific joined private sector leaders to identify ways to scale up climate action and find innovative financing solutions for the transition to low-carbon, climate-resilient economies.
The Asia-Pacific Climate Week (APCW 2017) which closed in Bangkok today, culminated in a Regional Climate Action Agenda which will strengthen regional cooperation among state and non-state stakeholders to promote more ambition prior to 2020 in key economic sectors, including energy, industry, agriculture, cities and oceans, to promote the take-up of carbon pricing instruments and policies, and to ensure better transboundary data collection, and access to finance.
Participants at the three-day event, organized by ESCAP, in partnership with UNFCCC, UNDP, UNEP-DTU, ADB, IETA, IGES, and TGO, also underscored the need to provide low-income, climate vulnerable countries with targeted international support to access capital markets, in order to finance the transition to low greenhouse gas emissions and climate-resilient development through enhanced regional collaboration and awareness-raising.
At the ministerial segment, United Nations Under-Secretary-General and Executive Secretary of ESCAP Dr. Shamshad Akhtar said, “Enabling vulnerable countries to gain access to international capital markets to finance the green transition can be one of the most effective ways to finance climate action. Every dollar invested will leverage many more. Tapping the capital markets to finance climate action will also enable the region to deepen its financial system and reorient it towards new growth opportunities.”
In his remarks, Mr. Inia Seruiratu, High-level Champion for Global Climate Action and Minister for Agriculture, Rural & Maritime Development & National Disaster Risk Management & Meteorological Services of Fiji said, “We hope that the meaningful discussions shared during this High-Level Segment will help move key stakeholders in the region toward a clear Regional Climate Action Agenda, which unifies the region’s climate ambitions with the need to ensure that financial flows are consistent with a pathway towards low greenhouse gas emissions and climate-resilient development.”
At the opening, Mr. Dirk Forrister, CEO and President of IETA said, “Improving the quality of data and transparency are two key goals towards the successful implementation of the Paris Agreement. Achieving these goals will help finance to flow and results to be verified, and would also clear the path to market-based solutions that can vastly scale up the reductions Paris calls for.”
Mr. James Grabert, Director of the Sustainable Development Mechanisms Programme at UNFCCC added, “Success in achieving the Paris Agreement objectives will require an ‘all-hands- on-deck’ approach, bringing together the private sector, cities, civil society and other non-State actors. I am certain we will see ramped up climate action emerging from the cooperation evident and commitments expressed here at Asia-Pacific Climate Week.”
Asia and the Pacific is emerging as a global leader that shows how growth and sustainable development can be achieved through promoting sustainable energy and carbon pricing for cost-effective achievement of the Nationally Determined Contributions. The region is a real growth area for carbon pricing and markets, and a wealth of opportunities are being created as countries look to use market forces to drive the low-carbon transition, both domestically and through Article 6 of the Paris Agreement.
Against this backdrop, APCW 2017 underscored the need for stronger emphasis on creating the enabling conditions to attract clean energy investment in-light of a recent decline in financing for new clean energy, and a greater focus on private sector investment, which are currently still far behind levels needed to step up to achieve the internally agreed climate goals contained in the Paris Agreement. De-risking instruments and credit enhancements were also highlighted as key to leveraging the much-needed increase in capital from private investors.
Event page: http://www.unescap.org/events/2017-asia-pacific-climate-week
Katie Elles, Public Information Officer, Strategic Communications and Advocacy Section, ESCAP