From 18 to 19 June 2020, the CAREC Institute and the Asian Development Bank Institute (ADBI), in collaboration with Xinjiang Institute of Ecology and Geography (XIEG) of Chinese Academy of Sciences delivered a virtual policy workshop – “Climate Change Regional Policy Dialogue: Learning from COVID-19 Pandemic” – for senior officials from ADB member countries who are leading climate change adaptation, mitigation and financing strategies, to exchange knowledge, best practices and lessons learned on pressing climate change issues at the regional level.
Participants discussed that realization of enormities of climate change challenges has increased, and world community has included climate dialogue as the main agenda item of international discourse, however estimated costs of climate change adaptation and mitigation are enormous. It will require more regional and international cooperation, investment, and stakeholder engagement that will lead to a comprehensive response to the climate change impact. Moreover, the ongoing pandemic and ensuing global economic meltdown has necessitated economic recovery plans involving huge outlays as a percentage of GDP. This has offered countries a new opportunity of “greening” the recovery plans.
Information was shared on the global collaboration efforts for climate action, how UN bodies, multilateral development banks, European Commission, European aid partners, and other aid agencies are developing their respective areas of action and expertise which proves very useful for public policy makers.
The CAREC Institute Director Syed Shakeel Shah remarked: “It is welcome news for the world that Chinese leadership is mainstreaming green outcomes in their vision of global cooperation and development, like BRI and AIIB initiatives, especially keeping in view the setbacks which the global climate agenda has suffered in recent years due to withdrawal of USA, the world’s biggest economy, from Paris commitments.”