The Dragon Bridge is a bridge over the River Hàn at Da Nang, Vietnam.
Infrastructure is crucial in any growing community; it provides access to the most basic services. Businesses and markets grow, the economy thrives, and opportunities open with adequate and efficient infrastructure. Asian countries, with their growing population and economy, have growing demands for infrastructure.
Crumbling and poorly maintained infrastructure are prevalent in developing Asian countries. Most people living in poverty do not have access to the most basic utility services like a clean water source, sanitation, transportation, and power. Their vulnerability to the effects of climate change is an added concern.
The report, “Meeting Asia’s Infrastructure Needs, that the Asia Development Bank published in 2017 looks at what infrastructure investments are needed in Asia for growth to happen, including climate adaptation and mitigation investments.
An investment of $26 trillion or $1.7 trillion per year is needed for growth occur, eliminate poverty, and to mitigate climate change. Without climate mitigation and adaptation costs, it is $22.6 trillion or $1.5 trillion per year, the report says.
Infrastructure is a lifeline for economic and social development in any country. According to the paper, Asia has increased its spending in telecommunications, transportation networks, and electricity infrastructure, however, amidst this increased investments at least 400 million people do not have electricity and 300 million have no access to safe drinking water and 1.5 billion lack basic sanitation.
The study also looks at the gap between what is currently spent on infrastructure for each member country and what is still need to incorporate climate change mitigation and adaptation, and how to bridge this gap.
Asia needs to curb its carbon emissions pursuant to the Paris agreement. The transport sector is identified as a contributor to high carbon emissions. To help reduce this, there should be a transition to using renewable energy and the use of public transportation rather than individual transport and investments are needed to do this.
Where funding will come from, what policies and strategies are needed, are discussed robustly in the report, accompanied by figures and case studies of each country in Asia.
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