Climate Action

Overview

The Asia-Pacific region is the most prone to climate-related disasters, which impact the most vulnerable people, including women, youth, the elderly and people with disabilities. Additionally, the region contributes to half of the world’s total greenhouse gas emissions.

To tackle these challenges, the Asia-Pacific countries are now taking action through their National Determined Contributions (NDCs). To support implementation of the NDCs, national governments need to mobilize adequate climate finance resources. This requires identifying innovative and alternative sources of funding, including leveraging private-sector financing.

ESCAP has been devoted to the task of identifying the gaps in, develop and deliver targeted advisory and technical assistance to central and national development banks in in the region, in order to enhance the capacity of these institutions to put in place policies and guidelines that encourage investment towards climate mitigation and adaptation projects.

Background

The Asia-Pacific region is at the forefront of the impacts of climate change and is uniquely positioned in global efforts to manage climate change. Higher temperatures, sea level rise, and extreme weather events linked to climate change are having a major impact on the region, harming its economies, natural and physical assets, and compounding developmental challenges, including poverty, food and energy security and health. Without climate-oriented development, climate change could force more than 100 million people from the region into extreme poverty by 2030, wiping out the gains in poverty reduction achieved over the last decades. At the same time, the region accounts for 53 per cent of global emissions and the high-growth path on which many of the region’s economies themselves on, means this contribution will grow without fundamental policy interventions.

Newest estimates for the Asia-Pacific region show that growth will be significantly impacted by climate change. Without climate action, GDP in the region could decrease by as much as 3.3 per cent by 2050 and 10 per cent by 2100, relative to the base case. The economic costs associated with disasters across the region are also increasing. Damage to property, crops and livestock from disasters increased from US$52bn annually to over US$523bn between 1970 and 2015. The costs of attaining a 2°C scenario for the region are estimated at approximately 0.1 per cent of GDP annually or 4 per cent by 2050, relative to business as usual. The co-benefits of climate action offset many of the costs of emissions reduction and emerging advanced technologies offer future prospects of lower abatement costs.