ADB, European Union, and ASEAN countries partner to boost green infrastructure

Delegates at the high-level ceremony to announce the EU’s support to the ASEAN Catalytic Green Finance Facility during the ASEAN–EU Dialogue on Sustainable Development on 10 February in Brussels. From left to right: Singapore’s Permanent Representative to ASEAN Ms. Kok Li Peng;  ADB Representative to Europe Mr. Robert Schoellhammer; Thailand Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr. Don Pramudwinai; EU Commissioner Ms. Jutta Urpilainen; European Investment Bank’s Permanent Representative to the EU Institutions Mr.  Mikolaj Dowgielewicz; KfW Director for Federal and European Affairs Mr. Jan Klasen; and Agence Française de Développement Director for Eastern Europe, Middle East, and Asia Mr. Remi Genevey.

The European Union (EU) has announced it is preparing to support the Association of Southeast Asian Nations’ (ASEAN) Catalytic Green Finance Facility (ACGF) with €50 million (S$75.8 million) to help governments prepare and catalyse public and private financing for climate-friendly infrastructure projects across Southeast Asia.

Launched in April 2019 and managed by the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the facility provides ASEAN governments with technical assistance and easier access to sovereign loans to finance infrastructure projects focusing on renewable energy and energy efficiency, sustainable urban transport, water supply and sanitation, and climate-resilient agriculture.

The EU infusion will come out of its Asia Investment Facility, according to EU Commissioner for International Partnerships Ms. Jutta Urpilainen, who made the announcement during the ASEAN–EU Dialogue on Sustainable Development along with ADB’s Representative to Europe Mr. Robert Schoellhammer.

“This commitment reflects the European Union and ADB’s deepening collaboration to help Southeast Asian countries achieve the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals,” said Mr. Schoellhammer.

Mr. Anouj Mehta, ACGF Unit Head at ADB’s Southeast Asia Regional Department, said: “Our joint support through the ASEAN Catalytic Green Finance Facility will help ASEAN member states fight climate change; improve air, soil, and water quality; and improve environmental protection.”

Southeast Asian countries face an annual financing gap of over $100 billion (S$140 billion) to meet its infrastructure needs. ACGF is part of the ASEAN Infrastructure Fund and is owned by ASEAN’s 10 member states and ADB. In addition to ADB and the EU, co-financing partners for the facility include Agence Française de Développement, the European Investment Bank, German development cooperation through KFW, and the Government of the Republic of Korea. The first ACGF-supported project is expected to be approved later this year.

ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. Established in 1966, it is owned by 68 members—49 from the region.