Greener trade and investment are crucial to tackling climate change in Asia and the Pacific and will require governments in the region to work together more closely, media reported citing a recent report published by the Asian Development Bank (ADB).
The report styled Asian Economic Integration Report (AEIR) 2023 stated although trade and investment have fueled remarkable economic growth in Asia in recent decades, it has also led to large increases in carbon dioxide emissions in the region—which is more vulnerable to the effects of climate change than any other.
Reversing this trend will require measures such as promoting trade in environmental goods and services, nurturing green businesses, developing carbon pricing mechanisms, and strengthening regional cooperation through trade and investment agreements, added the report released by ADB Tuesday (7 February).
“Asia and the Pacific’s remarkable growth has lifted millions of people out of poverty, but this has come at an environmental cost,” said ADB Chief Economist Albert Park.
He said the region now finds itself on the frontline of the climate crisis, which can derail development progress.
Trade and investment remain as one of the most important drivers for growth and poverty reduction, but governments in the region need to intensify their cooperation to make trade and investment greener, the ADB chief opined.
According to the report, Asia’s production-related carbon dioxide emissions almost tripled between 1995 and 2019, largely reflecting the region’s unparalleled pace of economic growth and industrialisation to satisfy demand—both within the region and in export markets.
It said Asia and the Pacific is now warming faster than any part of the world.
Almost 40% of the world’s disasters occur in the region, and more than 70% of people affected by disasters live in Asia and the Pacific, the report added.
It said disasters disproportionately affect women and vulnerable populations.
The report also outlined a set of guidelines for governments in the region to make trade and investment more sustainable and greener including promoting the trade of environmental goods, nurturing green businesses, enhancing international regulatory cooperation, and developing carbon pricing mechanisms at both national and cross-border levels.