ASIA is the world’s fastest-growing source of greenhouse gas emissions, according to the Asian Development Bank (ADB).
If developing Asia is to mitigate global warming, it will need to spend US$300 billion on clean energy technology annually through 2050, says the ADB.
If it doesn’t the bank estimates that climate change could decrease the region’s GDP by more than 10 percent by the next century.
Most developing-Asian countries are signatories to the 2015 Paris agreement, a global initiative to keep global temperature increases below two degrees Celsius.
In its updated Asian Development Outlook 2016 study, the ABD said that the large sum of investment was needed in order to meet the treaty’s targets.
“The economic returns from adopting low-carbon policies needed to mitigate the increasing devastating impacts of climate change far outweigh the costs,” said Deputy Chief Economist of the ADB Juzhong Zhuang.
The green energy market in developing Asia is a growing economy. It is easier to trade carbon credits in the regions because climate change mitigation costs are typically lower in developing Asia compared to other regions. This could reduce mitigation costs by half as a region.
Actions such as reducing or eliminating fossil fuel subsidies in the region could level the playing field for clean technology and clean energy companies to provide clean and cheap energy.
In particular, South Asia has huge potential for solar power with the ideal combination of both high solar insolation and a high density of potential customers.
As well as strong gains to developing Asia’s economy, mitigating climate change would also prevent around 600,000 deaths from air pollution related causes and preserve more than 45 million hectares of forested land, according to the ADB.