The FINANCIAL — The Asian Development Bank (ADB) approved $3.7 billion in climate finance investments in 2016, according to recently released figures — marking a 42% boost from the $2.6 billion reached in 2015.
Estimates show that in 2016, climate finance from ADB’s internal sources reached a record $2.65 billion for climate mitigation and $1.08 billion for climate adaptation.
“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,” said ADB President Takehiko Nakao. “ADB remains committed to scaling up its climate financing to $6 billion by 2020, of which $4 billion will target mitigation and $2 billion adaptation.” It is expected that ADB’s spending on climate change will increase to around 30% of its overall financing by 2020.
In addition to its own financing, ADB mobilized $701 million from external sources, with $595 million invested in mitigation and $106 million in adaptation. Including financing form external sources, ADB delivered over $4.4 billion in climate finance in 2016.
Among the adaptation projects backed by ADB is a $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. $200 million of the project cost is considered as addressing climate adaptation.
Among the mitigation projects, a $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.
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 Program. This includes a $12 million grant to help the Cook Islands install energy storage systems and support private sector investment in renewable energy, as well as a $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), 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 ADB will deliver on its $6 billion goal by 2020 and the anticipated growth in DMC demand for ADB support for climate action to 2030.