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Annual meeting of the Asian Development Bank

Forging ahead with climate change mitigation worldwide

Chancellor Angela Merkel has pledged to support the Asian states in their fight against climate change and poverty. "We, the Federal Republic of Germany, intend to double climate financing by 2020," said the Chancellor at the 49th Annual Meeting of the Asian Development Bank.

Chancellor Angela Merkel speaks at the Asian Development Bank's annual meeting in Frankfurt/Main. Climate action and economic growth are reconcilable, says the Chancellor Photo: Bundesregierung/Lohnes

Experience demonstrates that climate change mitigation and economic growth are not mutually exclusive, she said. In the 21st century, growth must be environmentally and socially acceptable, pointed out the Chancellor. "If economic development is dynamic, this is of course a sign that the points we address in development cooperation must also change."

Not only do the Asian states today generate one third of global GDP, they are also responsible for one third of CO2 emissions, noted the Chancellor. "Today, we have launched the Asia Climate Financing Facility together. With it we aim to forge ahead with the development of climate change mitigation and adaptation projects, climate risk insurance schemes, which we believe to be very important, and, above all, with private-sector climate financing."

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is a regional development bank based in Manila, the Philippines. The ADB was founded in 1966. It is today the largest multilateral development financing institution in Asia. It plays a key role in financing sustainable development in developing countries and emerging economies in the Asian and Pacific region.

Asia – for greener development

Last year in New York the United Nations adopted the sustainable development goals, while in Paris a new Climate Agreement was adopted. Now the agreements must be translated into action. At the 49th ADB Annual Meeting in Frankfurt am Main, development financing instruments are to be optimised, so as to meet the vast needs of the region and comply with the ever more urgent imperatives of ensuring sustainability.

The industrialised states have pledged to provide 100 billion US dollars every year as of 2020 to finance climate change mitigation and adaptation activities in poorer countries. The Asian Development Bank has announced that it will double climate financing by 2020. "That indicates that our goals are largely the same in this field," stressed the Chancellor.

Asian growth centres are facing the challenges of making their meteoric development environmentally sound and as climate-neutral as possible, while also ensuring that more people benefit. The German government, in its capacity as host of the Annual Meeting is providing impetus for sustainable policy on the part of the ADB, and advocating a socially and environmentally sustainable path to development in Asia. "We believe that structural reforms to protect the climate will pay off in the long term, and indeed in the medium term," declared the Chancellor.

Regional development banks like ADB work together to promote the regional member states’ economic development by providing financial aid, advice and technical support. But what essentially sets these institutions apart from the World Bank – the global development bank – is the fact that most of the capital shares are held in the regional member states. This guarantees that these countries’ interests are represented in an ideal way.

Focus on innovative fields

The aim is to mobilise the economy and the private financial sector, and to engage in discussion about new financial formats for the implementation of the global sustainability goals and climate targets in Asia. The combination of state and private efforts is the way forward, stressed the Chancellor.

Under the banner "Cooperating for Sustainability" the Annual Meeting is to provide a platform especially to involve stakeholders from the private sector, the academic and research community and civil society in the debates.

The innovative fields of renewables, energy efficiency and climate change, sustainable production and supply chains, vocational education and training and urban development are the focus of the event.

"Frankfurt Declaration"

In the "Frankfurt Declaration" the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the German government have agreed to cooperate more closely on climate action and vocational education and training.

The Asian Development Bank and Germany have initiated the Asia Climate Financing Facility (ACliFF). As of 2017, the Fund will provide financial support to Asian countries to help them reduce their CO2 emissions and insure against climate risks.

The ADB and the German government also intend to extend and intensify their cooperation to promote vocational education and training in Asia. This more intensive cooperation is to align vocational training better with the needs of employers and to strengthen in-company training.

This is to foster growth that ought to benefit as many people as possible, while women are to be encouraged to play an active part in economic life. The Declaration thus picks up on the initiative of Germany’s G7 Presidency regarding the economic empowerment of women.

Presentation and dialogue with other stakeholders

In the "City of Sustainability" private companies and research facilities are presenting their innovations, discussing examples of best practices, and networking with other actors. The ADB is providing information about its competitive bidding practices, and ministries, organisations, private companies, local authorities and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) are offering regional expertise and presenting their promotion programmes.

The Asian Development Bank ADB has 67 member states in total, 48 of which are located in Asia and 19 of which are in Europe and North America. Germany is one of ADB’s founding members and is its largest European shareholder with 4.33%. In addition to its headquarters in Manila, ADB has 31 country offices.

Participants at the Annual Meeting

The ADB Annual Meeting is a platform for stakeholders from the realms of politics, business, science and research, and civil society, including:

- German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
- German Federal Ministry of Finance (BMF)
- German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB)
- German Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs (BMAS)
- German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi)
- KfW Group
- Deutsche Investitions- und Entwicklungsgesellschaft (DEG)
- Agency for Business and Economic Development
- Germany Trade and Invest (GTAI)
- GOVET (the German government’s central office for international cooperation in vocational education and training)
- German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD)
- Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ)
- Scientific and educational facilities including the Fraunhofer Institute, Frankfurt Main Finance, the University of Witten, and the Max Planck Institute
- Association of German Cities and local authorities from Europe and Asia

Sustainability as overarching principle

Within the various official bodies of the Asian Development Bank, Germany is working to make sustainability the overarching principle in lending policy. Hans-Joachim Fuchtel, Parliamentary State Secretary at the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, has represented Germany for the last two years as a Governor of the Asian Development Bank. Last year he was appointed Chair of the 67-strong Board of Governors, the Bank’s most important body.

Poverty reduction, stability, peace, sustainable development and climate change mitigation and adaptation in the Asian region are the shared goals of the Asian Development Bank and German development cooperation. Germany is not only active at bilateral level in development but also at multilateral level as a member of various international organisations and as a shareholder in a number of international financing institutions, including the Asian Development Bank.

May 03, 2016