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Banks a ‘pipeline’ to low-carbon future

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Contributions from multilateral lending facilities are the “pipeline” to a global low-carbon future, an official at the Asian Development Bank said.

A joint report from the ADB and its regional and international counterparts found finance geared toward efforts to abate the impacts of climate change totaled $81 billion last year. Funding efforts have moved toward projects ranging from renewable energy resources to climate-resilient land and water resource management.

“Multilateral development banks will play a central role in generating the pipelines of quality climate action projects needed to deliver the goals of the Paris Agreement,” Bambang Susantono, the ADB’s vice-president for sustainable development, said in a statement.

An agreement signed by 195 national leaders in Paris last year called for all parties to make strides to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to a level necessary to curb global warming to less than 2 degrees Celsius by the end of the century.

Under the terms of the agreement, wealthier nations are expected to help finance the shift to a low-carbon economy from poor, developing nations. The ADB, for its part, said it aims to double its financial support for climate initiatives to around $6 billion by 2020.

Clean energy from members of the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development made up 22 percent of all the power output from its members in 2014, the highest level since 1975.

A separate report from the International Energy Agency said fossil fuels accounted for 81 percent of total global energy production in 2014, down about 0.4 percent from the previous year. Combined, wind and solar power accounted for about 1 percent of the total global output, but both sectors experienced their fastest rate of growth on record.