More ADB financing for rail than road projects
MANILA, Philippines - The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has begun to reduce financing for road projects, in favor of urban transport-related ones.
Speaking at the opening ceremonies of the 3-day ADB Transport Forum, ADB Vice President for Knowledge Management and Sustainable Development Bindu Lohani said road projects accounted for only 77% of total financing extended by the multilateral lender in 2010 to 2011, compared to 78% between 2000 and 2009.
This is expected to further decline to 57% in 2012 to 2014, and to 42% by 2020.
On the other hand, ADB's investment in urban transport systems will gradually increase to as much as 30% by 2020. The share of other infrastructure investments such as rail will also increase to 25%, while the shares of air and water transport will be maintained at 1% and 2%, respectively.
These are in line with ADB's Sustainable Transport Initiative (STI), which it adopted in 2010.
"The choice is to let unsustainable transport become entrenched, with dire consequences for the economy, quality of life, health and climate change, or to begin making the changes needed for a sustainable transport future," Lohani said.
Haruhiko Kuroda, President of ADB, has reiterated the bank's commitment, as well as that of other multilateral development banks (MDBs) to extend $175 billion-worth of loans and grants to developing countries over the next 10 years.
This commitment is part of the MDB's promise in the Rio+20 sustainable development conference this year. The funds will all go to financing of sustainable transport systems in all developing nations including the Philippines.
"All parties including governments, the private sector, citizens and international organizations, need to take action. Let us use this Transport Forum as an opportunity to find solutions to our common challenges. Let us build toward more inclusive and sustainable transport systems in Asia and the world, which will change the lives of billions of people for the better," Kuroda said.
The ADB said booming cities and rising incomes are fueling a dramatic surge in vehicle fleets across Asia. In 1980, just one in 10 motorized vehicles in the world was in Asia, but by 2030 the region is expected to account for nearly half the global total.
The bank said cars and trucks weigh heavily on Asia's cities now suffering the highest air pollution levels in the world, and account for most traffic accidents in the region, killing nearly 2,000 people a day. - Rappler.com