ASEAN and ADB to invest $1 billion in green projects


The ten member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) signed an agreement with the Asian Development Bank last week to invest $1 billion in green infrastructure projects across the region.

The agreement called the “ASEAN Catalytic Green Finance Facility” was signed at the ASEAN Finance Ministers Meeting in Chiang Rai and witnessed by Thailand’s Minister of Finance Apisak Tantivorawong and Asian Development Bank (ADB) President Takehiko Nakao. Thailand is the chair country of ASEAN in 2019. Other international development finance groups also signed the agreement.

“As ASEAN chair for 2019, Thailand’s vision for financial cooperation is sustainable and inclusive,” Apisak said. “In light of this, the launch of the new facility under AIF (ASEAN Infrastructure Fund) is timely and much needed.”

The ADB has warned that if climate change is not addressed it could reduce the region’s gross domestic product by 11 percent by the end of the century. The United Nations has said that Thailand is already one of the countries most affected by climate change.

“Through the ASEAN Catalytic Green Finance Facility, ADB will support ASEAN governments in developing green and climate-friendly infrastructure projects that will contribute to fighting climate change, improving the quality of air and water, and reducing environmental degradation across the region,” said ADB President Nakao.

Other participating development finance organizations include Germany’s state-owned development bank KfW, the European Investment Bank, and Agence Française de Développement.

The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, and the Global Green Growth Institute will support knowledge sharing and capacity building on green finance, and the Overseas Private Investment Corporation has expressed interest in potential financing for emerging projects, according to the ADB.