Asian Countries Forge Dynamic Partnership to Promote Green Growth

BANGKOK, September 20, 2012 – Asian developing countries are exploring new low-emission green growth strategies that accelerate sustainable economic development while also addressing climate change. More than 150 officials from 17 Asian governments and representatives of international organizations, civil society groups, and businesses are meeting this week at the first Asia Low Emission Development Strategies (LEDS) Forum in Bangkok, Thailand to establish a regional network on low emission development and discuss ways to apply this new sustainable development paradigm across Asia.

Rapid economic growth in Asia has helped lift millions out of poverty, but economic progress is increasingly overshadowed by the risk of global climate change. The Asia and Pacific region is among the most vulnerable to climate change, with increasingly visible impacts on economies, food security, and communities.  By linking the efforts and resources of governments, the private sector, and international organizations, developing Asia can take advantage of its dynamic, rapidly growing economies to choose new, transformational growth strategies.

“Low-emission, climate-resilient development, commonly described as ‘green growth’, is a development approach that assists countries to achieve sustainable economic growth and improve living standards while slowing the rise of greenhouse gas emissions,” said Michael Yates, Director of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Regional Development Mission for Asia. 

The low-emission, green growth approach recognizes that addressing challenges such as climate change can actually create opportunities to accelerate growth and employment, and do so more sustainably. Many emerging economies like China, India, Indonesia, and Thailand have already started the transition toward this new development model.

“Thailand is moving towards a low-carbon society based on the guiding principles of H.M. the King’s “sufficiency economy” philosophy as the strong foundation for sustainable development,” said Thailand’s Minister of Natural Resources and Environment, Mr. Preecha Rengsomboonsuk.

The potential benefits of green growth include increased industry competitiveness and productivity, and new opportunities for Asian developing countries to attract international funding for low carbon projects. Many countries also are seeking to enhance energy security by adopting more efficient and renewable energy technologies, to improve human health from reduced air pollution, and to help businesses tap into expanding global markets in low-carbon technologies, products, and services.

“Emerging Asian economies are adjusting to the realities of a carbon constrained world, but they expect investments in cleaner energy and public transport to also generate domestic benefits, such as improved energy security, increased industrial efficiency, and better air quality. This is improving local quality of life while enhancing long-term development and job creation prospects,” said David McCauley, head of climate change programs at the Asian Development Bank.

Participants in the Asia LEDS Forum this week will jointly identify priorities for promoting regional coordination, building technical capacity, and sharing knowledge on LEDS and green growth, through a new “Asia Regional Platform” being established as part of the LEDS Global Partnership, an international initiative of over 90 organizations and institutions to advance low emission development around the world.

USAID is sponsoring the Asia LEDS Forum, taking place during September 18-21, along with the Asian Development Bank (ADB), Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID), and the LEDS Global Partnership Secretariat, in cooperation with Thailand’s the Office of Natural Resources and Environmental Policy and Planning (ONEP) and the Thailand Greenhouse Gas Management Organization (TGO) under the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment. Numerous collaborating organizations from across the regional are also actively supporting the new partnership.

For more information about the Asia LEDS Forum, please visit:



About the LEDS Global Partnership

The LEDS Global Partnership was founded in early 2011 to advance low emission development through coordination, information exchange, and cooperation among programs and countries working to advance low emissions growth around the world. The partnership currently brings together over 90 governmental and international institutions worldwide, and is open to any interested party that undertakes relevant work. Three regional platforms are now in formation under the LEDS Global Partnership, including the Asia Regional Platform.

For more information, visit:


The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is an independent U.S. government agency that operates under the foreign policy direction of the U.S. Secretary of State.  Following on 50 years of improving lives through development and humanitarian assistance, USAID is the principal U.S. government development agency partnering with countries throughout the world to promote peace, prosperity, and security. 

Based in Bangkok, USAID’s Regional Development Mission for Asia operates as a modern development enterprise implementing innovative and cost-effective programs throughout 19 countries in Asia.  Providing thought leadership in the region, USAID Asia employs cutting-edge approaches to support sustainable solutions to challenges that cross national boundaries, such as human and wildlife trafficking, climate change mitigation, infectious disease control, natural resources conservation, disaster risk reduction, trade facilitation, regional integration, governance, and conflict mitigation.  USAID Asia also implements bilateral programs in Burma, China, Thailand, and Laos, and provides technical assistance and support services to USAID Missions in the region.  Please visit for more information. 

About ADB

The Asian Development Bank (ADB), based in Manila, is dedicated to reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth and regional integration. Established in 1966, it is owned by 67 members -- 48 from the region. In 2011, ADB approvals including co-financing totaled $21.7 billion. For more information, visit

About AusAID

AusAID is the Australian Government agency responsible for managing Australia's overseas aid program. AusAID is an Executive Agency within the Foreign Affairs and Trade portfolio and reports to the Minister for Foreign Affairs.  For more information, visit