Development bank climate finance rose 24% in 2021 - report

Moon rise over London
The moon rises behind skyscrapers of the City of London financial district in London, Britain, October 10, 2022. REUTERS/Toby Melville
  • Largest banks provided combined $82 bln in finance
  • $51 bln went to low- and middle-income countries
  • Calls for more set to dominate COP27 climate talks

LONDON, Oct 14 (Reuters) - The world's biggest multilateral development banks increased their climate-related financing by 24% to $82 billion in 2021, a report by the lenders showed on Friday, ahead of the next round of global climate talks.

The role of such institutions, including the World Bank and European Investment Bank, in helping scale up financial support to developing countries is set to be one of the central talking points when countries meet in Egypt in November for COP27 talks.

Of the climate finance committed last year, around $51 billion, or 62%, went to low and middle-income countries. Of that total, more than $33 billion went to projects that aim to cut or mitigate climate-damaging emissions, the banks said in the report.

A further $17 billion went towards projects aimed at adapting economies to the increasingly costly impacts of climate change. At the same time, capital to the countries from private investors was $13 billion, the report said.

The 2021 figure remains a long way short of the estimated finance needed by emerging markets, however. A report by the world's biggest asset manager BlackRock last year put that figure at $1 trillion a year of public and private finance.

The increase in financing to poorer countries in 2021 meant the development banks had passed a 2019 goal of providing at least $50 billion a year by 2025 ahead of schedule, the EIB said in a statement announcing the Joint Report on Multilateral Development Banks’ Climate Finance.

"To meet the Paris Agreement goals, we must increase climate finance at scale," EIB Vice-President Ambroise Fayolle said in a statement.

"Ahead of the COP27 conference, this report sends the encouraging message that, despite the COVID-19 pandemic, multilateral development banks in 2021 have collectively increased their climate finance worldwide."

Reporting by Simon Jessop; Editing by Hugh Lawson

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