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KUALA LUMPUR, July 6 (Bernama) -- A green recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic in Southeast Asia has the potential to create US$172 billion (RM760.2 billion) in investment opportunities annually and generate more than 30 million jobs by 2030, according to the Asian Development Bank (ADB).
A new report by the bank identifies five areas that support a post-COVID-19 recovery through greener development, namely productive and regenerative agriculture, healthy and productive oceans, sustainable urban development and transport models, circular economy models, and renewable and efficient energy.
In a statement today, director general for Southeast Asia Ramesh Subramaniam said this report highlights key policy priorities for economies in the region that can help ensure that both socioeconomic and environmental aspirations are served in their pursuit of economic recovery.
"While several countries in the region have begun to support a green recovery, more needs to be done.
"We must encourage additional green stimulus, design carbon pricing schemes, reduce dependence on fossil-fuel intensive power, and attract private sector investors to large-scale renewable energy, sustainable transport, and clean urban projects," he said.
A green recovery from COVID-19 is crucial to ensure an economically and environmentally resilient future, ADB said, noting that without concerted actions to address the environmental crises of climate change and biodiversity loss, the region’s long-term growth prospects could be constrained.
Other policy options identified in the report, the bank said, include intensifying research on green technologies, encouraging women entrepreneurs to participate in green business opportunities, and managing biodiversity better through open and integrated data systems.
“To implement a green recovery, Southeast Asian governments also need to identify sustainable sources of financing that will fund climate-friendly infrastructure investments and leverage green growth opportunities,” ADB said.
According to the report, financing approaches should include mobilising domestic resources through environmental and carbon taxes, reducing subsidies for fossil fuels, mobilising private investors by addressing risks related to green investments, and leveraging public and private finance through green funds such as the ASEAN Catalytic Green Finance Facility.
It also called for a strong collaboration among neighboring economies and new partnerships with various stakeholders to ensure benefits accrue throughout the region.
ADB expressed its commitment to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty.
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