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New IDB sustainable energy and climate change initiative

More than 300 government officials and experts agreed during a two-day meeting at the Inter-American Development Bank that sustainable sources of energy are at the core of the Latin American and Caribbean development agenda and greeted the launching of an IDB initiative to support investments in sustainable energy and reduce climate change vulnerability.

Finance, energy and environmental officials, renewable and clean energy business leaders, financial institutions representatives, non-governmental organizations and donor agencies analyzed the needs of the region, along with strategies to support the development of renewable energy sources, promote energy efficiency and biofuels and enhance the access of projects to carbon finance markets.

Participants looked at current experiences in the private and public sectors in areas such as housing, transportation and rural electrification. Sessions covered assessments of power needs, challenges and opportunities for sustainable energy and how to promote policy support and investments in clean energy.

The IDB renewed its commitment to support its member countries in the region with a new initiative that will focus on energy efficiency, biofuels, carbon finance and  adaptation to the risks of climate change. This initiative will aim at:

  • Closing the gap in financing renewable energy and energy efficiency by scaling up IDB investments

  • Integrating policy reform and removal of barriers with innovative financing for market transformation

  • Fostering sustainable energy investment across sectors and refining financing tools

  • Improving access to the carbon finance market

  • Addressing adaptation in existing capital assets as part of natural disaster risk management

  • Fostering partnerships with financial, public and private sector institutions

“Latin America and the Caribbean have a substantial track record in sustainable energy,” said IDB President Luis Alberto Moreno. Studies show that more than 23 percent of the region’s total primary energy supply already comes from renewable sources and both public and private sectors are already working on the needed expansion.

“We are not starting from scratch,” added Moreno. He noted that the IDB has already lent $17 billion to energy projects in the region, including financing parts of Brazil’s pioneering ethanol program. “We are proud of this legacy,” said Moreno, but “building the next generation of sustainable energy projects will require more creativity, better cooperation and greater willingness to take risks,” he concluded.

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