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IDB launches Public Consultation for its Latin American and Caribbean Climate Change Strategy

The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the largest source of multilateral financing for Latin America and the Caribbean, has launched a broad public consultation on the draft of its Integrated Strategy for Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation, and Sustainable and Renewable Energy.

This public consultation includes a 90-day online forum in addition to meetings with representatives of civil society, including non-governmental organizations across the region and in Washington DC. The consultation is a critical step toward the adoption of a new climate change strategy.

The draft strategy document, which was posted on the IDB’s website on October 28th, identifies climate change as one of the top priorities of the Bank. In its Ninth General Capital Increase (GCI-9), the IDB establishes climate change as a key priority for the Latin American and Caribbean development agenda and the Bank’s lending program. The GCI-9 introduced a lending target for climate change, renewable energy and environmental sustainability of 25 percent of loan approvals by 2015, up from 5 percent for the 2006–2009 period.  This means the IDB could lend as much as $3 billion a year in climate change related projects.

Models show that Latin America and the Caribbean is highly vulnerable to climate change, with a projected warming of at least one degree centigrade and up to six degrees centigrade in the worst case scenario. The potential consequences of climate change include rising sea levels and reductions in crop yields, water supply and energy production, among others. Between 1970 and 2007, extreme weather events have cost the region an estimated $80 billion in damages to settlements, industry and infrastructure. ECLAC estimates predict that if LAC does not address climate change impacts in the coming decades, climate-related disasters could cost the region up to $300 billion per year.

The economic effects of climate change could be devastating for Latin America and the Caribbean. The region’s challenge is to sustain its economic growth and strong demand for energy and other resources while limiting CO2 emissions. Additionally, given the existing vulnerabilities, adaptation is a priority for the region. This draft strategy seeks to focus the Bank’s actions in these critical areas:

  • Increase local knowledge and technical capacity
  • Strengthen institutions and public and private sector capacity
  • Develop principles, technical notes and instruments to  mainstream climate change in Bank-funded operations
  • Expanding lending and technical assistance in key sectors
  • Scale-up investments, addressing financial gaps and leveraging private sector investments

In-situ consultations are planned for:

Quito, Ecuador, November 5th
Lima, Peru, November 10th
Guatemala City, Guatemala, November 16th
São Paulo, Brazil, December, date to be determined
Santiago, Chile, December, date to be determined
Caribbean,  January 2011, date to be determined
Washington, DC, January 2011, date to be determined