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New Regional Fund to Fight Impact of Climate Change

The Asian Development Bank will contribute $40 million

The head of the Asian Development Bank announced on May 5 the establishment of a Climate Change Fund to combat the impact of global warming, which he termed a "fundamental threat" to the region.

"We will substantially increase our attention to the environmental consequences of growth, including climate change,"Haruhiko Kuroda said in an opening address to the annual meeting of the bank's board of governors in Madrid. "Climate change is a fundamental threat to achieving Asia's development objectives, and to life and livelihoods."

He said the initial contribution from ADB resources will be $40 million. "The Fund will allow a more holistic approach to climate change mitigation and adaptation, including forestry and land use, changes in livelihood, health impacts, and increase emergencies and disasters caused by climate change."

He noted that the bank's Asia Pacific Carbon Fund, supported by seven European countries, is also to provide over $150 million to co-finance clean energy projects. Kuroda said the ADB is also investing an additional $100 million in five funds to mobilize about one billion dollars for clean energy over the next three years.

"Within the next four years, environment and climate change will grow to represent a significant share of ADB's total lending and technical assistance," he said.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2008

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