ADB to boost clean energy programme

Manila, June 26:

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) said today it was planning to boost its clean energy programme to one billion dollars annually amid warnings Asia’s contribution to green gas emissions could get worse.

ADB president Haruhiko Kuroda said the region faced a ‘daunting challenge in securing energy’ and expanding economies needed to spend more on clean energy technologies.

“About 70 per cent of Asia’s energy needs are dependent on fossil fuels - a primary source of greenhouse gases.

Asia now accounts for one quarter of the world’s gas emissions,” Kuroda told a regional clean energy forum.

“Without a change in course, it will get worse,” he said, noting that the International Energy Agency estimates the region would have to invest up to five trillion dollars through 2030 on new energy infrastructure.

A major chunk of the investments would likely go toward coal-fired power plants to produce electricity, leading to global carbon dioxide emissions of over 40 billion tonnes in the next 23 years, he said.

Of the total emissions, 40 per cent would be coming from Asia, Kuroda said, adding that this would also lead to a increase in global mean temperatures.

WB approves Zoellick

WASHINGTON: The World Bank on Monday approved Robert Zoellick, the US nominee, as the next president of the 185-country development lender, the bank’s executive board said.

US President George W Bush’s nominee won unanimous backing Monday from the bank’s executive board to take over the anti-poverty age-ncy on July 1 for a five-year term, a board statement said.