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COP15: International banks will support projects in renewable energy

Leading Multilateral Development Banks (MDB) have committed to “further support” investment in projects and programmes in renewable energy, energy efficiency and sustainable transportation systems at COP15.

The heads of the world’s largest international financial institutions have called for a comprehensive agreement to combat climate change at this month’s COP15 Copenhagen conference, and have agreed to further coordinate their own efforts to achieve that meeting’s goals.

They have released a joint statement in which they pledge to use their own mandates, expertise and resources to help confront the challenges of climate change and to make the best possible use of available financing.

The African Development Bank, Asian Development Bank, European Bank for Reconstruction & Development, European Investment Bank, Inter-American Development Bank, World Bank Group and International Monetary Fund also commit their organisations to the use of technical assistance and funds to further support their environmental goals. They also recognise the primacy of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in setting the targets for dealing with global environmental challenges.

“We, the heads of the MDBs and the IMF, appeal to the Parties to the UNFCCC to agree in Copenhagen the foundations for an ambitious, comprehensive, and equitable global climate change regime that enables all countries to achieve sustainable development along climate-resilient and low GHG emission-intensive paths,” the statement explains. “Climate change is a major threat to sustainable development in all regions of the world.”

“It is critical that developed countries continue to take the lead in the mitigation of climate change by adopting adequate quantitative emissions reduction targets beyond 2012, and support and enable nationally appropriate mitigation actions by developing countries with technology, financing, and capacity-building,” it continues.

“The collective development experience of the MDBs suggests that many opportunities exist in developing countries, in particular in middle-income countries, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions while advancing sustainable development, creating opportunities for further growth, and reducing the impact of, and vulnerability to, climate change.”

The MDBs will coordinate their financing of climate actions within a common framework that will provide technical assistance and financing though loans, grants, equity, carbon finance, and guarantees.

For their existing projects and programmes in renewable energy, energy efficiency and sustainable transportation systems, they will “further support increasing public and private sector investment to scale-up such projects and programmes using the full array of climate finance instruments and other financing products.”

“Developing countries cannot be denied the chance to share in the planet's wealth; they can, however, choose to approach economic development differently by leapfrogging directly to more energy-efficient and sustainable solutions,” says Haruhiko Kuroda of the Asian Development Bank.

“Since infrastructure investments can establish a country's pattern of resource use for decades to come, the time to act is now - before this infrastructure is set in stone.”

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