Southeast Asia’s green recovery from the pandemic has the potential to create more investment opportunities and add millions of jobs in the next eight years, a new Asian Development Bank (ADB) report said.
Based on ADB’s “Implementing a Green Recovery in Southeast Asia” report on Wednesday, July 6, the Manila-based multilateral institution noted that the region’s green growth could attract $172 billion in investment opportunities per year.
Likewise, a green recovery from the Covid-19 crisis would generate more than 30 million jobs by 2030, ADB said.
But in considering green growth, ADB identified five key areas that need to be supported during a post-Covid-19 recovery.
They include greener development, namely productive and regenerative agriculture, healthy and productive oceans, sustainable urban development and transport models, circular economy models, and renewable and efficient energy.
Ramesh Subramaniam, ADB Director General for Southeast Asia said these five areas will help ensure that both socioeconomic and environmental aspirations are served in Southeast Asia’s pursuit of economic recovery.
While Subramaniam acknowledged that several countries in the region have already begun to support a green recovery, he believes there are “more needs to be done.”
“We must encourage additional green stimulus, design carbon pricing schemes, reduce dependence on fossil-fuel intensive power, and attract private sector investors to large-scale renewable energy, sustainable transport, and clean urban projects,” Subramaniam said.
According to Subramaniam, without concerted actions to address the environmental crises of climate change and biodiversity loss, the region’s long-term growth prospects could be constrained.
“A green recovery from Covid-19 is crucial to ensure an economically and environmentally resilient future,” he said.
Other policy options identified in the report include intensifying research on green technologies, encouraging women entrepreneurs to participate in green business opportunities, and managing biodiversity better through open and integrated data systems.
To implement a green recovery, Southeast Asian governments need to identify sustainable sources of financing that will fund climate-friendly infrastructure investments and leverage green growth opportunities.
According to the report, financing approaches should include mobilizing domestic resources through environmental and carbon taxes, reducing subsidies for fossil fuels, mobilizing private investors by addressing risks related to green investments, and leveraging public and private finance through green funds.
Finally, strong collaboration among neighboring economies and new partnerships with various stakeholders should be forged to ensure benefits accrue throughout the region.