With a lending portfolio of $10.5 billion in 2008, the Asian Development Bank wields significant influence over the economic development policies of countries in the fast-growing Asia Pacific region.
In 2009, the Bank adopted a new energy policy geared toward supporting clean energy and low-carbon economic growth. Key commitments included: requiring carbon footprinting of proposed projects, technical support for countries to undertake low carbon strategies, and tools to help countries determine more efficient energy options. The Bank backed it up by committing to provide $2 billion annually to clean energy projects starting in 2013. This would represent a doubling of such investments based on 2008 lending.
“Taken together, these initiatives provide some of the strongest commitments yet by an international financial institution to clean energy investment,” explains Isabel Munilla, whose work at WRI focuses on aligning public and private investment with sustainable development and poverty reduction. “It sends a strong signal to other multilateral and regional development banks that they can play a catalytic role in helping developing countries deploy cleaner, safer, renewable and low-carbon energy technologies.” WRI and its partners in the region played a pivotal role in helping Bank officials develop the new policy.