THE Asian Development Bank will continue to work with public and private sector partners to mobilise additional financing for climate projects both in the Pacific and the rest of the world.
In a statement yesterday, ADB president Takehiko Nakao said in December 2016, the Green Climate Fund announced its support to ADB's proposed Pacific Islands Renewable Energy Investment Program.
This includes a $US12 million ($F24 billion) grant to help the Cook Islands install energy storage systems and support private sector investment in renewable energy, as well as a $US5m ($F10m) grant to assist seven Pacific island countries to transition to renewable energy sources.
It said the ADB approved $US3.7b ($F7.6b) in climate finance investments in 2016, according to recently released figures — marking a 42 per cent boost from the $US2.6b ($F5.4b) reached in 2015.
According to the statement estimates show that in 2016, climate finance from ADB's internal sources reached a record $US2.65b ($F5.5b) for climate mitigation and $US1.08b ($F2.2b) 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 Mr Nakao.
"ADB remains committed to scaling up its climate financing to $US6b ($F12b) by 2020, of which $US4b ($F8b) will target mitigation and $US2b ($F4b) adaptation."
He said it was expected that ADB's spending on climate change would increase to about 30 per cent of its overall financing by 2020.
The ADB, in addition to its own financing, mobilised $US701m ($F1.4b) from external sources, with $US595m ($F1.2b) invested in mitigation and $US106m ($F217m) in adaptation, including financing from external sources, ADB delivered more than $US4.4b ($F9b) in climate finance in 2016.
Meanwhile, among the adaptation projects backed by ADB is a $US500m ($F1b) 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.
Mr Nakao said 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 with $US200m ($F400m) of the project cost being considered as addressing climate adaptation.
Among the mitigation projects, a $US47m ($F96m) 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.
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 $US6b ($12b) goal by 2020 and the anticipated growth in DMC demand for ADB support for climate action to 2030.
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, ADB is celebrating 50 years of development partnership in the region.
It is owned by 67 members — 48 from the region.