Bank launches climate change fund with $20 million

A major regional development bank has put up US$20 million to start a new fund to help Latin American and Caribbean countries tackle climate change.

Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) launched the Sustainable Energy and Climate Change Fund earlier this month to boost the use of environmentally friendly energy and lessen the impact of climate change.

Janine Ferretti, IDB environmental safeguards unit chief, said: “Climate change is a development issue. The fund will help countries in Latin America and the Caribbean address the problem of climate change and its impacts in important economic and social areas like agriculture, water, health, and biodiversity. It will also help improve access to affordable and reliable sources of energy.”

The fund is intended to increase investment in renewable energy, energy efficiency, bio fuel development and carbon financing.

It will also be used to reduce the impact of climate change and to promote policies and projects that result in greater sustainable energy use.

“The fund will help countries take into account climate change risk in country programming and project investments,” said Ms Ferretti.

“It will take advantage of the new financing opportunities of a growing international carbon market to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and at the same time provide important development benefits.”

Institutions that could be eligible for funding include government ministries, planning agencies, public and private corporations, regional government, non-governmental organizations and academic and research institutions.

The IDB is the oldest and largest regional bank in the world.

It was set up by the Latin American countries in 1959 to finance the economic and social development of the region through loans and grants.

It supports projects and strategies to cut poverty, boost growth, increase regional integration and promote private sector development and state modernization.

David Gibbs

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