Latest update on climate finance

The International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) provides the March update on global developments in climate finance.


March 2015 Climate Finance Update

During the month of March 2015, the African Development Bank (AfDB), the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), the European Investment Bank (EIB), the UN Development Programme (UNDP)/World Bank Climate Finance Options (CFO) platform and the World Bank reported on climate finance projects, mechanisms and developments. ADB, EIB, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the Nordic Environment Finance Corporation (NEFCO), the Climate Investment Funds (CIF), the UN Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP-FI) and the World Bank released publications and organized events.

On funding, AfDB reported on the approval of an additional funding of US$8.4 million from the Global Environment Facility (the GEF) Least Developed Countries Fund (LDCF) for the Bank’s Water Supply and Sanitation Programme. The financing will go to supporting climate resilience of the environment and infrastructure in Eastern Uganda.

ADB is supporting climate change mitigation and sustainable transport projects in China and Lao People’s Democratic Republic (Lao PDR). In China, ADB-funded projects include lower-emission public buses, methane recovery and the preparation of a roadmap for carbon capture and storage (CCS). In Lao PDR, ADB approved a US$35 million loan for financing a bus rapid transit (BRT) system and traffic management improvements in Vientiane.

The World Bank approved a US$6.5 million project that will seek to strengthen the engagement of indigenous peoples and traditional communities of Brazil’s Cerrado biome in CIF’s Forest Investment Program (FIP) and REDD+, among other programmes, and contribute to improved livelihoods and land use, and sustainable forest management (SFM) in their territories. The Bank also reported on a US$5.5 million grant for a marine ecosystem climate resilience project in Belize, approved by the Adaptation Fund.

On green bonds, ADB announced it had raised US$500 million from an inaugural green bond issue. The proceeds will be used to finance climate change adaptation projects, and possibly mitigation projects. EIB increased its €1 billion Green Bond Principles (GBP)-denominated Climate Awareness Bond (CAB) 2026 by €250 million. CABs provide investors an opportunity to associate their investment with EIB’s lending in the areas of renewable energy and energy efficiency, for example district heating, building insulation and equipment replacement projects. The World Bank launched the Green Growth Bond, its second green bond for individual investors, which aims to deliver on three objectives: eco-citizenship; peace of mind; and return on capital.

In other news, ADB became the first multilateral development bank (MDB) to be accredited by the Green Climate Fund (GCF). CIFOR launched a multi-stakeholder research project that will aim to ensure science-based decision-making by REDD+ policy makers and practitioners in Indonesia, Mexico, Peru and Viet Nam. The CIFOR project is supported by Germany’s Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB). CFO announced the launch of PayC, a ‘pay-as-you-go’ carbon offsetting application shortlisted in its Climate Change Finance Innovation award contest, which is using crowd funding to build its offsetting platform.

In March, several financing institutions published annual reports and briefs. IDB’s ‘Sustainability Report 2014′ highlights the Bank’s sustainability performance in terms of institutional sustainability investment and safeguards targets, and presents a number of IDB projects in the Bank’s member countries. NEFCO released the ‘Operational Review 2014’ of its carbon finance and funds that presents an update of its climate change initiatives and carbon funds, and related case studies. CIF’s ‘2014 Annual Report’ covers emerging results and trends in the CIF portfolio, and presents lessons learned and key highlights from 2014.

ADB published a study on ‘Reconstructing Accountability after Major Disasters’ that examines weak accountability mechanisms and proposes approaches to crisis-specific development of accountability. Marking the launch of a new edition of GBP in London, UK, on 27 March, EIB released the March 2015 edition of its Climate Awareness Bonds Newsletter, which provides a disclosure of the Bank’s practice in relevant areas.

A World Bank brief lists the 15 carbon funds and facilities under its trusteeship, noting that the first ten of these are capitalized at US$2.3 billion and have, since 2000, resulted in reductions equivalent to 187 million tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2). In a lecture at Georgetown University, US, World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim outlined five ways to reduce climate change drivers: pricing carbon; ending fossil fuel subsidies; building low-carbon, resilient cities; promoting energy efficiency and renewable energy; and supporting climate-smart agriculture (CSA) and forest landscapes. The World Bank also published a story on index-insurance for women farmers in developing countries, and a blog post on a renewable energy project in Bangladesh that has issued carbon credits through the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM).

On events, ABD organized a high-level policy dialogue titled ‘Asian Leadership: Sustainable Development and Climate Change’ in Tokyo, Japan, from 2-7 March 2015. CIF reported on a UN briefing for civil society that presented an overview of the three main vehicles for public sector climate change, namely CIF, the GEF and the GCF, organized on 5 March 2015, which is available via the UN Web TV. UNEP-FI reported on a high-level workshop on how to address climate change aimed at mobilizing the financial sector behind decarbonisation, which took place on 13 March 2015, in New York, US. EBRD hosted the first GBP Annual General Meeting and Conference in London, UK, on 27 March 2015.

The World Bank supported a ‘bootcamp’ organized by the Ghana Climate Innovation Center for 20 high-potential Ghanaian startup companies with the aim of promoting local entrepreneurship and innovation in clean technologies. In addition, the Film4Climate campaign, spearheaded by the World Bank’s Connect4Climate initiative, organized screenings and discussions on the topic of a greener film industry at the Guadalajara International Film Festival, held from 9-10 March, in Mexico.

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