Climate change central to new China-ADB partnership

17 Feb 16

The Asian Development Bank has announced a new partnership strategy with China, which will prioritise climate change.

The ADB said the 2016-20 strategy will broaden and deepen various aspects of the partnership, including lending, knowledge sharing and the promotion of south-south cooperation.

However, the first priority of the strategy, according to Ayumi Konishi, director general of the ADB’s East Asia Department, will be addressing climate change and environmental management in line with commitments China made at climate talks in Paris last December.

The ADB said it would support China in realising an “ecological civilisation” through environmental sustainability, pollution control, climate change mitigation and adaptation measures.

In particular the bank will focus on operations that will produce regional public goods and benefit a wider area beyond China, including emissions reduction, projects to reduce air, water and soil pollution and the promotion of renewable energy technologies.

“There are other remaining and emerging development challenges that China faces that money alone cannot address,” Konishi continued. These include tackling poverty and a rapidly ageing society, and the need to balance rural and urban development.

He said the ADB would support China with both knowledge and financial resources, including through policy- and results-based loans, in accelerating reforms towards stable and sustainable growth.

The ADB said it expects its lending to China to increase from its average $1.51bn per year over 2011-2015 in line with the envisaged increase in the overall volume of ADB operations in Asia and the Pacific until 2020, but did not state a figure.

It added that it expects the private sector to play a larger role in China’s sustainable development and a focus on private-sector led solutions.

Other facets of the strategy include supporting China’s regional cooperation and integration efforts, inclusive development, stronger regulatory and legal frameworks and improved governance.

The ADB highlighted measures to promote transparency, enhance public sector management in areas such as taxation, local government bonds and debt management, and efforts to encourage private sector development and promote public-private partnerships. 

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