‘50 shades of green’ needed for Asia’s energy transition: IPCC chair

Market must tolerate ‘browner’ bank portfolios, ‘yellower’ decarbonisation solutions.

ONE message ringing loud and clear at the recently concluded gathering of finance ministers and central bank governors in Incheon, South Korea is that the Asia-Pacific needs to stomach some transitional friction on the road to green. 

This means growing a level of tolerance towards banks “browning” their portfolios, and green industries keen to formulate slightly “yellower” solutions, in order to get to green eventually.

These are seen as necessary with it being clear now that developing Asia cannot simply replace coal with renewable energy, as it relies on steady and cheap access to power, currently coal generated for the most part, for economic growth.

The United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) chair, Lee Hoesung, described it as “50 shades of green” in a debate at the close of last week’s 56th Asian Development Bank (ADB) Annual Meeting.

Lee was reacting to fellow panellist Sonja Gibbs – head of sustainable finance at the Institute of International Finance, who said the public needs to appreciate transition finance for what it is. 

“You have civil society being very concerned about ADB financing this or that. Well, yes. But it is not about cutting off financing for everything brown. You will never transition that way. Transition is needed for those sectors as well,” she said.

Source: The Business Times


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