Four partners have pledged a combined US$665 million for a platform managed by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) that aims to mobilize an additional US$7 billion for low-carbon and climate-resilient infrastructure projects in Southeast Asia and accelerate the region’s recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic.
The funding, which was announced at United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow, includes 110 million sterling pounds (US$151 million) from the government of the United Kingdom, €132 million (US$155 million) from Italian state lender Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (CDP), €50 million from the European Union, and US$300 million from the Green Climate Fund (GCF). The partnerships will be part of the new Green Recovery Platform to support the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) Catalytic Green Finance Facility (ACGF), which was established by the Asean Infrastructure Fund and is managed by ADB.
“Asean countries have a unique opportunity to build a green and inclusive future after the Covid-19 pandemic,” said ADB president Masatsugu Asakawa, who attended the launch event with ministers and senior officials from Asean and partner countries. “The Asean Green Recovery Platform will help accelerate the flow of investments to support climate-resilient, environmentally sustainable infrastructure projects in Southeast Asia and boost sustainable, equitable development.”
The new funding will add to the US$1.4 billion in co-financing commitments already pledged to the ACGF since 2019, bringing total pledges to the facility to US$2 billion. The original financing partners supporting ACGF include ADB, Agence Française de Développement (AFD), the European Investment Bank, the German state-owned development bank KfW, and the government of the Republic of Korea. Director general for international partnerships at the European Commission Koen Doens, GCF executive director Yannick Glemarec, and AFD chief executive officer Remy Rioux also spoke at the launch.
“This year, the UK became Asean’s first new dialogue partner in 25 years. We’re now working together to build stronger economic and investment relationships and tackle climate change,” said UK foreign secretary Elizabeth Truss. “The £110 million of UK funding for the UK–Asean Catalytic Green Finance Facility Trust Fund will help deliver clean, honest, and reliable infrastructure into countries that urgently need it, drawing on UK expertise on green technologies and creating jobs across the UK.”
The pandemic has had significant economic, health, and social impacts in Southeast Asia. The platform will provide financing and technical assistance to reduce investment risks and catalyze public and private financing for green infrastructure projects that create jobs and bolster growth. It will also support the efforts of Asean developing member countries to reach their climate goals under the Paris Agreement and help them strengthen green capital markets, such as by expanding the issuance of green and climate bonds.
“As we rebuild our economies, our commitments to the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals must not falter,” says CDP chief executive officer Dario Scannapieco. “CDP stands ready to play an active role in financing sustainable and inclusive infrastructure by promoting constructive partnerships, like our support to the ACGF, to finance a sustainable and green economic recovery in Southeast Asia and to join forces with other national development banks to tackle todays’ challenges for both this and the next generation.”
The Asean Green Recovery Platform forms part of ADB’s commitment to raising its ambition for 2019–2030 cumulative climate financing to US$100 billion, while ensuring that at least 75% of projects will address climate change mitigation and adaptation by 2030.