MANILA, PHILIPPINES — The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has become the first multilateral development bank accredited to receive financing from the Green Climate Fund for projects to enhance climate change mitigation and adaptation in its developing member countries.

The Green Climate Fund was established in 2010 under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to serve as the central global investment vehicle for climate finance. It will help developing countries reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to climate change. To date, 32 countries have pledged an initial $10.2 billion to the fund, including seven developing countries, with the largest contributions pledged by the US, Japan, the UK, France, and Germany.

“Combining the Green Climate Fund’s concessional finances with ADB’s financing, knowledge, and regional experience will boost much-needed climate change investments in Asia and the Pacific,” said ADB President Takehiko Nakao. “Successful deployment of financing will help to create momentum for the climate agreement expected in December at the UNFCCC climate summit in Paris, France.”

ADB hopes to make its first formal submissions to the fund before the end of this year, said Mr. Nakao.

Asia is highly vulnerable to climate change given its many low-lying countries, reliance on agriculture, and rapid urbanization. The region’s adaptation costs are estimated at $70-100 billion annually through 2050, and failure to act could undo the poverty reduction and economic gains of recent decades. Moreover, Asia’s share of global greenhouse gas emissions could rise to 46% by 2035 from 37% in 2010 without aggressive efforts to promote low-carbon growth.

The Green Climate Fund will allocate its resources equally to adaptation and mitigation efforts. Half of the adaptation funds are to be allocated to small island developing countries, least developed countries, and African states, with the rest going to other developing countries. The Green Climate Fund Board is expected to allocate resources for the first projects and programs before the 21st Conference of the Parties of the UNFCCC which will be held in Paris, France on 30 November to 11 December.

Helping the region cope with climate change is a strategic priority for ADB. In 2014, ADB approved climate financing of just over $3 billion – about 75% for climate change mitigation and 25% for adaptation. In addition, ADB manages $2.6 billion through bilateral and multi-donor funds, including climate investment funds, to support areas including clean energy, integrated disaster risk management, and urban climate resilience. Earlier this month, ADB raised $500 million from its first Green Bond to finance climate mitigation and adaptation projects.

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, it is owned by 67 members – 48 from the region.

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