The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and seven other multilateral development banks (MDBs) are committing to provide more than $175 billion of loans and grants for transport in developing countries over the next decade. The ADB made the announcement on behalf of the MDBs at the Rio + 20 event in Rio de Janeiro.
Participating MDBs include: African Development Bank; ADB; CAF – Development Bank of Latin America; the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development; the European Investment Bank; the Inter-American Development Bank; the Islamic Development Bank; and the World Bank.
Rapid motorization is creating more congestion, air pollution, traffic accidents and greenhouse gas emissions—especially in developing countries. Developing countries have the opportunity to leapfrog to a greener future of less motorization, shorter commutes, and more energy efficient transport systems.—ADB President Haruhiko Kuroda
Global CO2 emissions from the transport sector are projected to increase nearly 50% by 2030 unless significant changes are adopted. In many Asian nations, losses from traffic-related congestion already amount to 5% of GDP. Many large Asian cities also suffer from the highest air pollution levels in the world, contributing to the premature death of half a million people each year.
Inadequate transport continues to exacerbate poverty and inequality in many regions of the world, inhibiting access to schools, healthcare, markets, and job opportunities, the MDBs said.
Yet despite the importance of the transport sector, which also directly contributes 5-10% of GDP in most countries, it has been largely neglected in the global sustainable development agenda. The joint MDB investment is intended to help develop and implement more environmentally-friendly, accessible, affordable, and safe transport solutions.
Sustainable transport solutions are available. ADB is already supporting green transportation solutions across Asia, including low-cost electric vehicles in the Philippines, urban metrorail systems in Viet Nam, bus rapid transit systems in Mongolia and Bangladesh, and inland waterway transport in the People’s Republic of China.