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ADB donors pledge $665 million to support Southeast Asia's green recovery

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FILE PHOTO: Smoke and steam billows from the coal-fired power plant owned by Indonesia Power, next to an area for Java 9 and 10 Coal-Fired Steam Power Plant Project in Suralaya

MANILA (Reuters) - Four donors to the Asian Development Bank including the United Kingdom have pledged $665 million for green infrastructure investments in Southeast Asia, which is one of the world's most vulnerable regions to climate change.

The money will go to an ADB-managed funding platform that aims to mobilise $7 billion for low-carbon and climate-resilient infrastructure in the region of more than 600 million people and aid its green recovery post pandemic.

"The ASEAN Green Recovery Platform will help accelerate the flow of investments to support climate-resilient, environmentally sustainable infrastructure projects in Southeast Asia and boost sustainable, equitable development," said ADB President Masatsugu Asakawa in a statement.

The new funding from the United Kingdom, Italian state lender Cassa Depositi e Prestiti, European Union, and Green Climate Fund, announced at the ongoing UN COP26 summit in Glasgow, will bring total pledges to the facility to $2 billion.

Southeast Asia is one of the most vulnerable regions to climate change because of the high economic activity along its long coastlines, and its heavy dependence on agriculture, forestry and other natural resources.

Called the ASEAN Catalytic Green Finance Facility (ACGF), it was established by ASEAN member countries and ADB to provide loans and technical assistance for sovereign projects in areas such as clean energy, green cities and sustainable transport.

The Manila-based ADB said last month it will boost its climate financing goals to a new target of $100 billion for the 2019-2030 period and launch a roadmap for retiring coal-fired power plants at the COP26 climate conference.

(Reporting by Karen Lema; Editing by Sanjeev Miglani)

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