MANILA, 08 FEBRUARY 2017 (BUSINESS MIRROR) —- The Asian Development Bank (ADB) approved $3.7 billion in climate-finance investments in 2016, according to recently released figures—marking a 42-percent boost, from the US$2.6 billion reached in 2015.
Estimates show that in 2016, climate finance from ADB’s internal sources reached a record US$2.65 billion for climate mitigation and US$1.08 billion for climate adaptation.
“The ADB is responding to the Paris Agreement by boosting its support to climate action in developing member- countries in line with their nationally determined contributions and the Sustainable Development Goals,” ADB President Takehiko Nakao said.
“The ADB remains committed to scaling up its climate financing to US$6 billion by 2020, of which US$4 billion will target mitigation and US$2 billion for adaptation.” It is expected that ADB’s spending on climate change will increase to around 30 percent of its overall financing by 2020.
In addition to its own financing, the ADB mobilised US$701 million from external sources, with US$595 million invested in mitigation and US$106 million in adaptation. Including financing form external sources, the ADB delivered over US$4.4 billion in climate finance in 2016.
Among the adaptation projects backed by the ADB is a US$500-million loan to the Bihar New Ganga Bridge Project in India, which will construct a new road bridge across the Ganges River and an integrated road network in the state of Bihar. A bank-to-bank bridge design was recommended over the alternative of building two smaller bridges and a connecting expressway, which was deemed to be more vulnerable to flooding. Two-hundred million dollars of the project cost is considered as addressing climate adaptation.
Among the mitigation projects, a US$47-million loan to the Distributed Commercial Solar Power Project in Thailand will help deploy a total of 100 megawatts of solar photovoltaic systems on commercial and industrial infrastructure at no up-front cost to the host companies.
The ADB will continue to work with public- and private-sector partners to mobilize additional financing for climate projects. In December 2016 the Green Climate Fund announced its support to ADB’s proposed Pacific Islands Renewable Energy Investment Programme.
This includes a US$12-million grant to help the Cook Islands install energy storage systems and support private-sector investment in renewable energy, as well as a US$5-million grant, to assist seven Pacific island countries to transition to renewable-energy sources.
In response to climate action commitments made under the COP 21 Paris Agreement by its developing member-countries (DMCs), the ADB is developing a Climate Change Strategic Framework. The strategic framework will spell out ADB’s future direction regarding climate change from 2017 to 2030, and will feed into ADB’s new corporate strategy toward 2030, which is currently under development. It will also outline how the ADB will deliver on its US$6-billion goal by 2020 and the anticipated growth in DMC demand for ADB support for climate action to 2030.
The 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, the ADB is celebrating 50 years of development partnership in the region. It is owned by 67 member-states, 48 of which are from the region…..PACNEWS [/restrict]