The Asian Development Bank (AfDB) will extend its climate finance targets from $ 20 billion to a new target of $ 100 billion over the period 2019-2030, the head of the multilateral bank said on Wednesday.
“The battle against climate change will be won or lost in Asia and the Pacific,” said Masatsugu Asakawa, President of the AfDB. “The climate crisis is getting worse by the day, prompting many to call for increased climate finance. We are taking action to respond to this call by raising our ambition to US $ 100 billion in cumulative climate finance from our own resources by 2030. ”
But United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres reiterated that US $ 100 billion per year from public and private sources is the “bare minimum” that will be needed for climate change mitigation and adaptation for the world. in development.
“It will take a lot more and development banks have an essential role to play. We need you to lead the transition of energy systems from fossil fuels to renewable energies, while ensuring universal access to energy. You must lead the way by supporting, fair transition plans, ”Guterres said in a registration posted on his Twitter account today.
The battle against climate change will be won or lost in Asia and the Pacific.
Masatsugu Asakawa, President, Asian Development Bank
In 2018, ADB is committed to ensuring that at least 75% of its operations support climate action and that its own climate finance resources reach at least US $ 80 billion by 2030. The development bank expects to that funding from its own resources in 2019 to 2021 reaches around US $ 17 billion.
The inadequate provision of climate finance is one of the biggest challenges for parties at the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) to be held in Glasgow next month.
Governments of developed countries pledged in 2009 to contribute US $ 100 billion per year in climate finance by 2020, but are well below that target. Climate finance only reached US $ 80 billion in 2019, and observers say the US $ 100 billion target is at risk of being missed amid the economic damage caused by the pandemic.
AfDB’s increase in climate finance will be ‘offset’ by gas finance
The AfDB’s commitment to increase climate finance will be in vain if it continues to finance gas projects in Asia, said Lidy Nacpil, coordinator of the Asian Peoples’ Movement on Debt and Development, a regional alliance of grassroots movements, d community organizations, coalitions and non-governmental organizations.
The AfDB’s new energy policy draft released in May excluded coal but provided few details on its gas financing plans.
“Whatever good this commitment to increased climate finance seeks to achieve, it will be undone by the AfDB’s continued funding for fossil fuels in the countries of the South bearing the brunt of the climate crisis.” , Nacpil said.
A study by Big Shift Global, a campaign supported by dozens of civil society groups around the world, found that the world’s nine major multilateral development banks have funneled more than US $ 3 billion into fossil fuels. last year, gas receiving more than three quarters of that amount. Support.
While the AfDB cut its funding for oil and gas in 2020, its technical assistance grants continue to support gas companies in Asia, according to the study. From 2018 to 2020, the bank spent nearly US $ 1.5 billion on oil and gas, enabling gas-fired power development in Bangladesh as well as pipelines in India and Pakistan. She also participated in the planning of a liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal and power plants in Sri Lanka.
The World Bank Group, which also funds major energy projects across the continent, spent by far the most on fossil fuels, with $ 5.7 billion invested between 2018 and 2020.
Asia accounts for 60% of the growth in global gas demand over the next three decades, with the largest increase expected in emerging markets in South and Southeast Asia.