ADB to Double Climate Financing to $6 Billion Annually by 2020

  • Lender's spending to rise to about 30% of overall financing
  • Adaptation measures to receive $2 billion of spending

The Asian Development Bank will double financing for projects related to climate change by the end of this decade to $6 billion a year, about 30 percent of the overall financing.

About $4 billion a year will go toward mitigating the impact of global warming by supporting low-carbon forms of energy, efficiency, sustainable transport and smart cities, the Manila-based lender said in a statement. The remainder will be used for adaptation measures.

“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,” the ADB’s president, Takehiko Nakao, said Friday in the statement.

The move reflects rising concern across Asia about the threat of climate change and an increasing willingness by China to help finance alternatives. China is poised to announce measures that would help poorer countries move away from fossil fuels and also is planning to start a national pollution-trading system.

Earlier this year, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang promised China would cut carbon emissions per unit of gross domestic product by 60 percent to 65 percent by 2030 from 2005 levels. The world’s largest polluter has already said it wants by 2020 to have 200 gigawatts of wind power and 100 gigawatts of solar.

In March, the ADB raised $500 million through its first-ever green bond, which will fund renewable energy and more efficient transportation.

Globally, green bond issuance reached $30.5 billion in 2014, more than double the year before, according to the ADB. Asia accounts for about 2 percent of green bond issuance, the lender says.

The lender has estimated the cost of adapting to climate change in Asia and the Pacific at $40 billion or more, annually, through 2050. South Asia could lose 8.8 percent of its gross domestic product annually by 2100 absent action to stem climate change while Southeast Asia could forgo 6.7 percent annually, according to ADB studies.