ADB funding for climate mitigation projects since 2011 hits $31.5 billion

THE ASIAN Development Bank (ADB) said it has funded $31.5 billion worth of climate mitigation projects since 2011, accounting for 78% of its climate-related financing.

“Mitigation finance is dominated by the energy sector (60%), although there has been a recent significant upward trend in the transport sector,” the bank’s Independent Evaluation Board said in a review posted on its website Monday.

Funding for adaptation projects, on the other hand, hit $8.7 billion 22%.

The bank’s evaluation covered 688 projects approved between 2011 and 2020.

Mitigation and adaptation projects accounted for 12% of the amount the ADB lent to its members over the period, which totaled $348.8 billion.

“(Our) climate investments have resulted in mitigation efforts with demonstrable reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and associated co-benefits. Results were more limited for adaptation and related financial targets have not been met,” ADB said in a separate statement.

The bank was able to meet its annual mitigation finance targets in 2017, 2019 and 2020. But it has yet to hit its $2 billion yearly adaptation finance target, which hit a high of $1.5 billion in 2019.

“Going forward given the current depth of the climate change crisis, a sense of urgency and commitment is demanded. ADB’s corporate ambitions should rise,” ADB Director General for Independent Evaluation Marvin Taylor-Dormond said.

The ADB’s evaluation team also noted that the bank has yet to play a “strong leadership” role on climate action efforts in Asia and the Pacific, noting that some key strategic and operational gaps remain.

In May, the ADB’s former Chief of the Energy Sector Group Yongping Zhai said the bank is looking to provide $80 billion worth of climate financing by 2030 in a bid to help its members access clean and reliable power. — Angelica Y. Yang