ENVIRONMENT
09/11/2014 07:35 am ET Updated Nov 11, 2014

Development Banks Pledge To Step Up Climate Action

ASSOCIATED PRESS

OSLO, Sept 11 (Reuters) - The world's six multilateral development banks promised on Thursday to do more to help emerging nations fight climate change as part of efforts to reinvigorate flagging work on a U.N. deal to limit temperature rises.

In a statement before a Sept. 23 summit on global warming to be hosted by U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in New York, the World Bank and other banks said they had delivered $75 billion in financing since they started joint tracking of funds in 2011.

"We now pledge to build on our work so far and to enhance our climate finance action, in accordance with our organizations' respective mandates, expertise, and resources," the banks said in a statement.

They did not give any target for funds.

The statement was signed by the African Development Bank, Asian Development Bank, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), European Investment Bank, Inter-American Development Bank and World Bank Group.

Developing nations often complain that they need far more aid to help rein in rising greenhouse gas emissions as part of a 200-nation U.N. deal to limit global warming that is due to be agreed in late 2015 at a summit in Paris.

BOLD PLEDGES?

Ban is hoping for "bold pledges" at the Sept. 23 summit to reinvigorate world attempts to limit emissions that a U.N. scientific panel says are the main driver for more heatwaves, floods and rising sea levels.

But many nations may be unwilling to make big announcements. Under an informal deadline, they are meant to outline national contributions for the Paris deal by March 31, 2015. Some may prefer to wait until then.

"Nations face quite a challenge in meeting something that's considered 'bold'" at Ban's summit, said Liz Gallagher of the London-based E3G environmental think tank.

So far, the United Nations says existing plans for curbing emissions fall far short of what is needed to keep warming below an agreed ceiling of 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial times.

Developed nations promised in 2009 to provide $100 billion a year, from public and private sources, by 2020 to help developing nations cope with climate change. Developing nations say the rich are not on track.

The multilateral development banks said their funds could generate wider flows. Under a set of programs helping 48 developing nations, $8 billion in public funds were expected to mobilize $55 billion of financing from all sources.

The banks also said they were looking to new instruments, such as providing new technologies, developing renewable energy legislation and issuing green bonds.

Josué Tanaka, the EBRD's managing director for energy efficiency and climate change, said the bank's climate finance of $20 billion since 2006 was expected to lead to annual carbon dioxide emissions reductions of 67 million tonnes.

That is roughly equivalent to Austria's annual emissions.

The U.N.'s panel of climate scientists says it is at least 95 percent probable that man-made greenhouse gases, rather than natural swings in the climate, are the main cause of warming since 1950. (Reporting by Alister Doyle; Editing by Dale Hudson)

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