Climate financing tops US$61 billion

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Thando Mnkandhla

Windhoek - Climate financing by seven of the world's largest multilateral development banks (MDBs) totalled US$61,562 billion in 2019, with US$41,467 billion of that amount committed to low and middle income economies.

Ninety-five percent of the total – or US$58,437 billion - was from the MDBs' own accounts while US$3,126 billion came from external resources channelled through the institutions.

The 2019 Joint Report on MDBs Climate Finance combined data from the African Development Bank (AfDB), the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the World Bank Group (WBG), and for the first time ever the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB).

Africa south of the Sahara accounted for US$7,380 billion of the money that went to low and middle income countries; with the Middle East and North Africa getting an allocation of US$3,919 billion for low and middle income economies and US$267 million for high income economies.

The largest climate finances investments were made in the energy, agriculture and transport sectors. The 2019 report also shows that US$46,6 billion - or 76 percent of total financing - was devoted to climate change mitigation investments that aim to reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions and slow down global warming.

The remaining US$15 billion was invested in adaptation efforts to help countries build resilience to the mounting effects of climate change, including worsening droughts, extreme flooding and rising sea levels.

Dr Anthony Nyong, the AfDB director for climate change and green growth cautioned: "As African economies face devastating impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, slacking action or redirecting financial resources from the climate change will further compound these impacts in a diverse and complex manner."

The AfDB exceeded its target of achieving parity between adaptation and mitigation finance by allocating 55 percent of its climate finance resources to adaptation and 45 percent to mitigation. Globally, more than 70 percent of climate finance is allocated to mitigation.

Dr Nyong noted, "Our investments that contribute to the goals of the Paris Agreement continue to grow. The climate finance provided by the bank increased from US$3,2 billion to US$3,5 billion in 2019 - representing 35 percent of total project approval worth US$10,2 billion."

The MDBs have reported on climate financing since 2011, basing their outcomes on a jointly developed methodologies for climate finance tracking.

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