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Global fund collects US$300m for renewable energy

Japan has joined the Netherlands, Norway, Switzerland, Britain and the USA as a donor for a new programme to support renewable energy in developing countries.

The Government of Japan has pledged a total of US$100 million to secure the funding base and launch the operational phase of two new climate programmes that will support US$300m of investments in renewable energy and US$400m in forest management.

At the first meeting of the SREP (Scaling Up Renewable Energy in Low Income Countries) sub-committee, Japan allocated US$40m to renewable energy and US$60m to the Forest Investment Program (FIP), whose other donors include Australia, Denmark, Norway, the United Kingdom and the United States.

The two programmes are funded under the Strategic Climate Fund, one of two funds established as part of the US$6 billionClimate Investment Funds (CIF). All CIF programmes now are underway after a design and funding process which took a year and a half.

Governing bodies for the two programmes for renewable energy and climate met at the World Bank in Washington to begin the selection process for pilot countries to receive support for renewable energy and forest investment.

"These Climate Investment Fund meetings send a strong signal that donor and recipient countries alike want action for climate transformation,” explains Katherine Sierra of the World Bank, which manages and administers the funds in partnership with other Multilateral Development Banks (MDB).

“All of the proposed CIF programmes have now been given enough financial support to move into operations.”

The CIF

The CIF are financing instruments to test what can be achieved to initiate transformational change towards low-carbon, renewable energy and climate-resilient development through scaled-up financing channeled through the MDBs.

Both the SREP and FIP offer an opportunity to low-income countries to undertake pilot programmes: FIP supports efforts to reduce GHG emissions from deforestation and forest degradation while SREP will help a small number of low-income countries to initiate energy sector transformation by helping them to take renewable energy solutions to a national programmatic level.

"The value of the CIF is two-fold: to pilot and demonstrate, through working in a few selected countries, how to transform economic and sectoral development in a climate-friendly way," adds Sierra. It also “provides an opportunity to scale up experiences and a growing knowledge base so pilot countries become real-time global laboratories for climate action.

Both the renewable energy and forrest programmes operate through a governing mechanism that has equal representation by contributor and by recipient countries, and officially includes representatives of the broader stakeholder base, including non-governmental organisations, indigenous peoples and the private sector as observers.

All CIF stakeholders will meet in March at the Asian Development Bank in Manila, to examine CIF accomplishments and challenges, and to identify knowledge on climate action that is emerging from early CIF work.

The CIF has two funds:

  1. The Clean Technology Fund (CTF) which finances scaled-up demonstration, deployment and transfer of low-carbon and renewable energy technologies for GHG reductions within country investment plans; and
  2. The Strategic Climate Fund (SCF) which finances targeted programmes in developing countries to pilot new climate or sectoral approaches with scaling-up potential.

Trust fund committees for both the CTF and the SCF have equal representation from developed and developing countries. They were designed as interim measures under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, to strengthen the global knowledge base for low-carbon, renewable energy and climate-resilient growth solutions.

The CIF are implemented jointly by the African Development Bank, Asian Development Bank, European Bank for Reconstruction & Development, Inter-American Development Bank, International Finance Corporation, and the World Bank. 

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