Asian Development Bank (ADB) President Takehiko Nakao today announced that ADB aims to double its annual climate financing to $6 billion by 2020, up from the current $3 billion. With this, ADB’s spending on tackling climate change will rise to around 30% of its overall financing by the end of this decade according to an ADB media release on 25 September.
ADB’s announcement comes against the backdrop of a promise by developed countries to mobilize $100 billion every year from 2020 to counter climate change in developing countries.
Out of the $6 billion, $4 billion is expected for mitigation through scaling up support for renewable energy, energy efficiency, sustainable transport, and building smart cities. $2 billion will be for adaptation through more resilient infrastructure, climate-smart agriculture, and better preparation for climate-related disasters.
ADB’s proposed doubling of climate finance reflects its strategic priorities as well as the increase in ADB’s overall financing capacity by up to 50% due to a more efficient use of its balance sheet by combining the equities of its Ordinary Capital Resources and Asian Development Fund (concessional finance window) in 2017.
“World leaders gathering in New York this weekend will commit to achieving 17 historic Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030 and ADB stands ready to be an important part of global efforts to finance these goals,” Mr. Nakao said. “Nowhere is tackling climate change more critical than in Asia and the Pacific, where rising sea levels, melting glaciers, and weather extremes like floods and droughts are damaging livelihoods and taking far too many lives.”
SDG 13 specifically calls for urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts. Also, mitigating and adapting to a changing climate are key to most of the other goals including ending poverty, achieving food and water security, providing access to energy, and building sustainable cities.
Later this year, at the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP21) in Paris, the international community is expected to finalize a new global climate agreement and the way to finance it.
In addition to scaling up its own climate financing, ADB will continue to explore new and innovative co-financing opportunities with public and private partners. For example, ADB will seek to mobilize concessional financing from the Green Climate Fund, which is becoming operational, for ADB’s adaptation projects in poorer countries. ADB will tap institutional investment through private equity funds like the ADB-sponsored Asia Climate Partners. ADB will also issue more green bonds as an important source of funding for its climate operations.
Mr. Nakao stressed the importance of technology in tackling climate change, and said that ADB will adjust its procurement systems in order to facilitate the integration of cleaner and more advanced technology into its projects. ADB will also strengthen partnerships with centers of excellence across the world to provide its member countries with cutting-edge knowledge and expertise on climate change.
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 2014, ADB assistance totaled $22.9 billion, including cofinancing of $9.2 billion.