ADB calls for more efforts from Pacific members to adapt to extreme weather

MANILA, Dec. 7 (Xinhua) -- The Asian Development Bank (ADB) on Thursday urged Pacific members to step up their efforts to adapt to more extreme weather conditions and mitigate disaster risks to improve the region's economic growth and development projects.

The ADB's Pacific Economic Monitor, a bi-annual review of economic developments and policy issues in ADB's 14 developing members in the Pacific, warns that climate change could derail economic progress in the Pacific.

The Pacific is among those parts of the world most vulnerable to weather-related disasters.

"Many Pacific countries have taken steps to improve resilience, such as integrating climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction into their national policies, climate-proofing infrastructure, and building financial resilience," said Carmela Locsin, director general of ADB's Pacific Department.

However, "more innovative approaches and greater institutional capacity can help to respond comprehensively to climate change risks," she said.

The sub-region's growth outlook for 2018 is adjusted downward slightly to 3.2 percent, due largely to dampened economic prospects for some of the North Pacific and small island economies.

The report warns that looming risks could dampen global economic gains.

"With better-than-expected momentum in the first half of 2017, higher world economic growth is now projected for the full year and 2018. However, medium-term risks such as tighter monetary policy, inward-looking policies, and persistently low inflation in advanced economies persist," the report says.

A topical policy brief in the report discusses ADB-supported efforts to promote low-carbon development, climate-resilient infrastructure, regional knowledge-sharing, and innovative financing solutions in the Pacific.

It also provides a toolkit of options to build financial resilience to the impacts of climate change.

The report stresses the need to expand climate finance, adding that financial resilience is a key component to climate change response.

"A range of options, most recently disaster-continent lines of credit and sovereign on regional insurance schemes, can be tapped to help Pacific economic recover from climate change impacts," the report says.

Established in 1966, the Manila-based ADB has 67 members, 48 from the Asia-Pacific region.

[ Editor: meng ]


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