A PROPOSED carbon tax could help provide the funding Southeast Asia needs to mitigate climate-related disasters, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) said in a webinar, noting that the region is lagging in raising such funding.

“I think carbon taxes are critical actually in our region. We need to be looking at how to increase revenues and fiscal resources for climate action,” Naeeda Crishna Morgado, Senior Infrastructure Specialist (Climate Finance) at the ADB’s Southeast Asia department, said at the webinar.

The Department of Finance said in January that it is studying a carbon tax that is “responsive and economically sensitive.”

Southeast Asia receives 5% of the climate financing available in East Asia and the Pacific, according to research group Climate Policy Initiative.

Luthfyana Larasati, manager of its Climate Finance Program, said climate financing in Southeast Asia is one of the lowest, alongside 0.3% for the Pacific Islands.

“Up to $1.7 trillion (in) annual finance flow will need to be invested in Asia and the Pacific in order to achieve their NDC (Nationally Determined Contribution) targets,” Ms. Larasati told the webinar, referring to the commitments made under the Paris agreement. — Beatriz Marie D. Cruz