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Programs for Climate Action get underway with $400 m for forests and $300 m for renewables

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Ch. Narendra
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New Delhi: A $100 million pledge from the Government of Japan has helped to secure the funding base and launch the operational phase of two new climate programs supporting forest management and renewable energy investments in developing countries.

On the eve of the first meeting of the Scaling Up Renewable Energy in Low Income Countries (SREP) sub-committee in Washington, the Japanese government pledged $40 million to the path-breaking program, already supported by the Netherlands, Norway, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

Japan also pledged $60 million to the Forest Investment Program (FIP) whose other donors include Australia, Denmark, Norway, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

Total pledged contributions to SREP and FIP now amount to $300 million and $400 million respectively.

The two programs are funded under the Strategic Climate Fund, one of two funds established as part of the $6 billion multi-stakeholder Climate Investment Funds (CIF). All CIF programs are now underway after a fast turn-around design and funding process which took just over a year and a half.

Governing bodies for the two newest programs are meeting at World Bank headquarters in Washington this week to begin the selection process for pilot countries to receive their support. 

"These Climate Investment Fund meetings send a strong signal that donor and recipient countries alike want action for climate transformation. All of the proposed CIF programs have now been given enough financial support to move into operations" said Katherine Sierra, Vice President for Sustainable Development for the World Bank, which manages and administers the funds in partnership with other Multilateral Development Banks.

The Climate Investment Funds are a unique pair of financing instruments designed to test what can be achieved to initiate transformational change towards low-carbon and climate-resilient development through scaled-up financing channeled through the Multilateral Development Banks.

"The value of the Climate Investment Funds 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," said Sierra. This is also an unprecedented opportunity to scale up experiences and a growing knowledge base so that the pilot countries become real-time global laboratories for climate action."

Both the SREP and FIP offer an unprecedented opportunity to low income countries to undertake pilot programs. The FIP supports countries' efforts to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD) by financing investments to address the causes of deforestation and forest degradation. The SREP will help a small number of low income countries initiate energy sector transformation by helping them take renewable energy solutions to a national programmatic level.

Both programs operate through a governing mechanism with equal representation by contributor and recipient countries, and which officially includes representatives of the broader stakeholder base, including non-governmental organizations, indigenous peoples, and the private sector as observers.

All CIF stakeholders will gather in Manila, Philippines at the Asian Development Bank on March 18-19, 2010 in a Partnership Forum for a dialogue about CIF accomplishments and challenges, and to begin to collectively harvest knowledge on climate action emerging from early CIF work.

The two Climate Investment Funds are the Clean Technology Fund (CTF), financing scaled up demonstration, deployment, and transfer of low-carbon technologies for significant greenhouse gas reductions within country investment plans; and the Strategic Climate Fund (SCF), financing targeted programs in developing countries to pilot new climate or sectoral approaches with scaling-up potential.

Both the CTF and SCF trust fund committees have equal representation from developed and developing countries. Recognizing the imperative of climate change deliberations underway in the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the CIF were designed as an interim measure to strengthen the global knowledge base for low-carbon and climate-resilient growth solutions. The CIF are implemented jointly by the African Development Bank, Asian Development Bank, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, Inter-American Development Bank, International Finance Corporation, and World Bank.


Extpub | by Dr. Radut