SE Asia forum explores green growth funding

Policy-markers and climate change experts from Southeast Asia discussed ways of financing low-carbon green growth in the region at a March 12 workshop in Hanoi.

The participants also held a dialogue to explore options for funding green investment in energy, transport, agriculture and manufacturing.

The two-day workshop was hosted by the Ministry of Planning and Investment with support from Asia LEDS Partnership’s members, including the United Nations Development Programme, the US Agency for International Development and the World Bank.

“Investment in low carbon technologies, businesses and infrastructure are central to achieving green growth,” stated Orestes Anastasia, the co-chair of the Asia Low Emission Development Strategies Partnership.

It can simultaneously help in reducing poverty, increasing economic competitiveness and energy security and reducing emissions that contribute to climate change, he emphasized.

In the meantime, achieving green growth requires a significant shift in investment and indentifying and accessing new sources of climate change funding, as well as mainstreaming climate change and environmental aspects into businesses financing strategies, all of which continue to pose key challenges to the governments, businesses and other organizations that seek ways to implement low-carbon strategies, the participants noted.

In response to accelerating environmental degradation and the growing threat of climate change, an increasing number of countries in Asia are transforming their economies towards a more sustainable and low-carbon development model.

Speaking at the workshop, Deputy Minister Nguyen The Phuong stated that Vietnam had developed a National Green Growth Strategy to help improve people’s living standards through employment in green industries, agriculture and services, investment in natural capital and development of green infrastructure.

He added that all of these investments will require funding from the Government, non-State sector and the international community.

Pham Hoang Mai, the head of the ministry’s Department of Science, Education, Natural Resources and Environment, remarked that the cost of damage to the economy of Vietnam due to the climate change should be about 2-6% of the Gross Domestic Product per year.

So, Vietnam was not just swift in taking steps to mitigate the effects of climate change, but was also keen to join the international community to deal with climate change and reduce greenhouse gas emissions of the country are still low, he claimed.

The workshop, which wraps up today, covered a variety of financing mechanisms, including public climate investment funds to programmes for small and medium-sized enterprises.

VNS/ VOVonline