The 79th Session of the Commission, with a theme of ‘Accelerating climate action in Asia and the Pacific for sustainable development’, represents an opportunity to focus on solutions to the climate crisis, especially considering the region’s large contribution to global emissions and the critical role the region can play in achieving climate targets as set by the Paris Agreement.
Transitioning at sufficient scale and pace to achieve net zero targets, especially moving energy sources away from fossil fuels and particularly coal, is critical to achieving the region’s Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), as is the financing needed to ensure the transition. In this vein, some member States of ESCAP have success stories to share, such as the Indonesian phasing out of coal power with the Just Energy Transition Partnership (JETP) and the Vietnamese JETP.
At early development stages, climate action projects can face significant risks. Much of the time, resources used in the early stages of project preparation are insufficient to carry out necessary activities – such as preparation of pre-feasibility and feasibility studies – to reach final investment decision. In some cases, the resources required to prepare investment-ready projects exceed the grant facilities for preparation activities. In countries with the greatest investment needs, there is a persistent lack of risk capital available to fund early-stage development for projects and businesses, which means that even potentially lucrative investments with high potential may not advance past the drawing board.
Part 2 of the Special Session will discuss how to prepare better investment-ready pipelines in the region, in order to increase the likelihood of accessing funds by member States for climate action projects.