New Report | Progress and Priorities for Asia’s Climate Finance en Route to COP28
NEW YORK, NY; November 20, 2023 — To accelerate Asia’s climate action to the levels needed to meet the Paris Agreement’s goals and limit the most severe impacts of climate change, climate finance will need to be rapidly and substantially scaled up.
Against this backdrop, the High-level Policy Commission on Getting Asia to Net Zero convened by the Asia Society Policy Institute (ASPI) has released a new report entitled "Progress & Priorities for Asia’s Climate Finance en Route to COP28."
This report lays out an integrated vision for Asia’s climate finance ahead of the 28th UN Climate Conference (COP28) in Dubai next month. It summarizes Asia’s projected needs and current climate finance flows, identifies key barriers, and highlights areas of progress. It also puts forth considerations for jointly addressing Asia’s climate and development finance needs in light of recent efforts to expand the availability and accessibility of climate finance globally.
Asia’s projected climate finance needs from now to 2030 generally range from $1 to $2 trillion per year. Based on a previous report from ASPI’s Commission, approximately $70 trillion will be required for the Asia-Pacific region to achieve net zero emissions by 2050. These needs could be even higher depending on the scope of the region under consideration.
Yet current climate finance flows to Asia range in the hundreds of billions at most, falling far short of slated needs. Most finance is flowing into mitigation efforts, and is in the form of loans, which may increase debt burden of the recipient countries. The report summarizes the estimates of several studies including those from the IPCC, Oxfam, McKinsey, UNEP and the Asian Development Bank.
With the United Arab Emirates slated to host COP28 at the end of this month on behalf of the UN’s Asia-Pacific Group, the report concludes by raising a series of priorities for assembling the finance required to get Asia to net zero emissions while addressing the region’s systemic development needs. It identifies priorities for Asia and at COP28 across three key areas of concern:
- Addressing existing debt and preventing future debt;
- Increasing the overall level of financing to jointly address climate and development needs;
- Ensuring equity and representation of Asia’s climate finance needs within key decision-making fora.
The report underscores that in order to overcome challenges like ongoing debt from impeding Asia's climate commitments, there need to be concerted efforts to increase availability and accessibility of climate finance that can meet Asia’s diverse needs. This would go a long way in enabling the region to aid in the global "course correction" towards the Paris Agreement’s stated target to limit global warming to 1.5°C.
About the High-level Policy Commission on Getting Asia to Net Zero
Launched in May 2022, the High-Level Policy Commission on Getting Asia to Net Zero convenes a diverse set of Asian and global leaders to urgently accelerate Asia’s transition to net zero emissions through research, analysis and engagement. It includes former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and former Marshall Islands president Hilda Heine, among others. The Asia Society Policy Institute serves as the Commission’s secretariat. Find out more at AsiaSociety.org/NetZero.