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New Delhi: To counter climate change, especially in developing countries, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) on Friday announced that it will double its annual climate financing to $6 billion, up from the current $3 billion, by 2020.

With this, ADB’s spending on tackling climate change will rise to around 30% of its overall financing by the end of this decade.

“Out of the $6 billion, $4 billion will be dedicated to mitigation through scaling up support for renewable energy, energy efficiency, sustainable transport and building smart cities. $2 billion will be for adaptation through more resilient infrastructure, climate-smart agriculture, and better preparation for climate-related disasters," said an official statement.

Since 2011, ADB has spent close to $13 billion on climate change. In 2014, 77% of ADB’s $3.2 billion in spending was on mitigation, notably on promoting renewable energy, energy efficiency and sustainable transport. The rest was invested in helping the region adapt by strengthening coastal protection against floods, making infrastructure climate-resilient and boosting disaster preparedness.

The announcement comes ahead of the meeting in Paris in December where more than 190 nations will meet to strike a new global climate deal under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the way to finance it.

To tackle climate change in developing countries, the developed countries have promised to mobilize $100 billion every year from 2020 and this has been a contentious issue between the two groups while negotiating a new climate deal.

“World leaders gathering in New York this weekend will commit to achieving 17 historic Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030 and ADB stands ready to be an important part of global efforts to finance these goals," said ADB president Takehiko Nakao.

“Nowhere is tackling climate change more critical than in Asia and the Pacific, where rising sea levels, melting glaciers, and weather extremes like floods and droughts are damaging livelihoods and taking far too many lives," he said.

The ADB president stressed on the importance of technology in tackling climate change, and said that ADB will adjust its procurement systems in order to facilitate the integration of cleaner and more advanced technology into its projects.

Several reports and studies have shown that the Asia-Pacific region is highly susceptible to environmental shocks and disasters caused by natural hazards, and its millions of poor particularly so. In Asia-Pacific, 1.6 billion people still live on less than $2 a day and more than 60% of the region’s population works in agriculture, fisheries, and forestry—the sectors which are most at risk from climate change. The region is also home to 552 million hungry people and climate change further threatens food security.

ADB, the statement said, in addition to scaling up its own climate financing, will continue to explore new and innovative co-financing opportunities with public and private partners. For instance, ADB will seek to mobilize concessional financing from the Green Climate Fund, which is becoming operational, for ADB’s adaptation projects in poorer countries.

“ADB will tap institutional investment through private equity funds like the ADB-sponsored Asia Climate Partners. ADB will also issue more green bonds as an important source of funding for its climate operations," the statement explained.

ADB was established in 1966 and is owned by 67 members. In 2014, ADB assistance totalled $22.9 billion, including co-financing of $9.2 billion.

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