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Huge financing gap must be closed to promote clean technology – A.D.B.

Huge investment is crucial to spur the development and deployment of clean technology said the Asian Development Bank at the United Nations Climate Change Conference.

Around $600 billion to $1.5 trillion will be needed yearly to support the transition of developing countries into low-carbon and climate-resilient economies, with $40 billion per year required for adaptation alone in Asia and the Pacific region, according to Bindu Lohani, A.D.B.’s vice-president for knowledge management and sustainable development.

“But we are not mobilizing sufficient resources to promote the development and deployment of critically needed climate-friendly technologies,” he noted.

While multilateral development banks have been providing support in the form of grants and loans in existing technologies, they remain insufficient to advance new ones, the A.D.B said.

The bank noted that targeted finance is necessary for both the innovation and deployment stages to encourage the creation of more clean technologies. This can only be made possible by mobilizing additional private sector investment by means of strategically placed public financing schemes, as well as overcoming policy, institutional, information and risk barriers to investment.

To assist developing countries in accessing investment, A.D.B. has recently established the Pilot Asia-Pacific Climate Technology Finance Center, which works closely with investors, technology suppliers and other partners from across the region and around the world. It is a part of a larger partnership among A.D.B., the Global Environment Facility and the United Nations Environment Programme.

If the center succeeds, the bank said that it could be a permanent facility that mobilizes finance while promoting the development and deployment of clean technologies in Asia and the Pacific.

“New climate-resilient and low-carbon technologies are needed to help developing countries avoid the unsustainable carbon-intensive path followed in the past by mature economies. In addition, these countries must also build resilience to the adverse impacts of climate change,” the bank stated.

In the 2011 Climate Change Conference held in Durban, South Africa, the Green Climate Fund, a scheme that will transfer money from the developed to the developing nations in order to assist them in adaption and mitigation activities, was launched.

In this year’s climate talks in Doha, the U.N.F.C.C.C. has introduced the “Momentum for Change: Innovative Financing for Climate-friendly Investment,” a new initiative aimed at providing a public-private mechanisms and approaches to further climate change adaption and mitigation activities. – C. Dominguez

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