UNDP: Asia-Pacific’s growth challenge

Smoke stacks emit thick clouds of smoke. The latest "Asia-Pacific Human Development Report" from the U.N. Development Program highlights the region's need to address the challenge of striking a balance between promoting inclusive growth and reducing carbon emissions. Photo by: Kim Seng / CC BY-NC-ND

The Asia-Pacific region can make a “global difference” or potentially contribute to global disasters depending on how it approaches its growth agenda, the U.N. Development Program says in a new report.

The sixth and latest edition of UNDP’s “Asia-Pacific Human Development Report” highlights a challenge it says the region must address in coming years: How to strike a balance between promoting inclusive growth and reducing carbon emissions.

Asia-Pacific needs to continue growing economically in order to lift some 900 million of its residents out of poverty, UNDP says. But the region must adopt a low-carbon and green path to growth because it cannot afford to “grow now and clean up later,” the report adds.

Here are UNDP’s suggestions on how countries in the region can pursue such a path: 

  • Craft and implement regulations or financial incentives that will encourage private companies and individuals to transition to green technologies.

  • Offer financial and technological assistance to make small business greener. At the same time, promote recycling in industrial production.

  • Promote green agriculture techniques such as zero-tillage cultivation and carbon sequestering measures like “biochar.”

  • Support efforts to scale up development and use of solar, wind and other renewable energy sources.

  • Help the urban and rural poor populations prepare for climate disasters and ensure their access to reliable and affordable energy services.

  • Explore and harness all potential funding options.

  • Boost citizens’ knowledge and awareness of climate change and its effects.

  • Coordinate climate change and green growth efforts across the region and share information with neighboring regions such as Europe.

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  • Ivy Mungcal

    As former senior staff writer, Ivy Mungcal contributed to several Devex publications. Her focus is on breaking news, and in particular on global aid reform and trends in the United States, Europe, the Caribbean, and the Americas. Before joining Devex in 2009, Ivy produced specialized content for U.S. and U.K.-based business websites.