Asian development outlook 2016 update: meeting the low-carbon growth challenge

Steady growth endures in developing Asia despite external slack. Half-year results prompt this Update to affirm overall growth projections published in March in Asian Development Outlook 2016. External weakness is offset by resilient domestic demand in large regional economies led by the People’s Republic of China, where policy regulates growth moderation as the economy restructures, and India, where progressive reform backs energetic expansion. Risks to the outlook include continued doldrums in the industrial economies, uncertainty about their monetary policies affecting capital flows, and rising rhetoric against free trade. Within the region, mounting private debt could sour under economic shock. And natural disasters, though impossible to predict, pose ever greater risks in view of climate change and Asia’s outsized vulnerability. Asian policy makers are willing partners in the global effort against climate change. But the region can and must go beyond current national pledges to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and hold global warming short of catastrophe. This Update explores the options toward achieving this vital goal, highlighting that the benefits to developing Asia far outweigh the costs of its transition to low-carbon growth.