THE Manila-based Asian Development Bank (ADB) announced that it is doubling its annual climate financing to $6 billion by 2020 in the Asia-Pacific region, the first time the bank adopted a financing target for climate-related investments.
The announcement, made by ADB President Takehiko Nakao, came ahead of the adoption of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at the United Nations General Assembly in New York.
“World leaders gathering in New York this weekend will commit to achieving 17 historic SDGs by 2030 and the ADB stands ready to be an important part of global efforts to finance these goals,” 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,” he added.
The ADB said that of the $6 billion, some $4 billion will be dedicated to mitigation efforts through scaling up of support for renewable energy, energy efficiency, sustainable transport and building smart cities.
The remaining $2 billion will be allocated for adaptation through more resilient infrastructure, climate-smart agriculture and better preparation for climate-related disasters.
The financing is expected to boost efforts to address climate-change risks in the region. The Philippines is among those in the region that are considered most at risk.
The Philippines is one of six Asia-Pacific nations considered most vulnerable to climate change in 2013, along with Cambodia, India, Pakistan, Lao PDR and Vietnam.
The ADB added that its host country’s capital, Manila, is one of the burgeoning cities that are most threatened by coastal flooding. The other cities are Kolkata, Mumbai, Dhaka, Guangzhou, Ho Chi Minh City, Shanghai, Bangkok and Yangon.
“Asia-Pacific is highly susceptible to environmental shocks and disasters caused by natural hazards, and its many poor particularly so. In Asia-Pacific, 1.6 billion people still live on less than $2 a day,” the ADB said.
“More than 60 percent of the region’s population works in agriculture, fisheries and forestry, the sectors most at risk from climate change,” it added.
The ADB said doubling its financing for climate change-related efforts is part of its support for SDG 13, which is taking urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts.
Under this goal, countries and various sources are urged to jointly mobilize $100 billion annually by 2020 to address the needs of developing countries in the context of meaningful mitigation actions and transparency on implementation.
The goal also said there is a need to fully operationalize the Green Climate Fund through its capitalization.
The ADB said developed countries promised in 2010 to provide $100 billion in new financing every year from 2020 onward to help developing countries mitigate and cope with climate change. So far, only around a third of this is flowing.