Climate finance flows increased by 17 percent in the period 2015–2016 compared with the period 2013–2014, according to a United Nations report released on Friday.
The 2018 Biennial Assessment and Overview of Climate Finance Flows of the Standing Committee on Finance shows global climate finance on a comparable basis, and found that high-bound climate finance estimates increased from $584 billion in 2014 to $680 billion in 2015 and to $681 billion in 2016.
"The bulk of climate finance continues to go towards efforts to curb greenhouse gas emissions, and a relatively small proportion of finance goes towards efforts to enable the most vulnerable to adapt, noting measurement differences," according to the assessment.
High levels of new private investment largely drove the growth seen in 2015 in renewable energy, which is the largest segment of the global total.
"Despite decreasing technology costs (particularly in solar photovoltaic and wind power generation), which means that every dollar invested finances more renewable energy than it previously did, a significant number of new projects were financed in 2015," the data revealed.
In 2016, a decrease in renewable energy investment occurred, which was driven by both the continued decline in renewable technology costs and the lower generation capacity of new projects financed.
However, the assessment highlighted that the decrease in renewable energy investment in 2016 was offset by an 8 percent increase in investment in energy efficiency technologies across the building, industry and transport sectors.
- Multilateral, domestic climate funds
The report said that total amounts channeled through United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) funds and multilateral climate funds in 2015 and 2016 were $1.4 billion and $2.4 billion, respectively. The significant increase from 2015 to 2016 was a result of the Green Climate Fund (GCF) ramping up operations.
"Domestic climate expenditures by national and subnational governments are a potentially growing source of global climate finance," the report showed.
By Gulsen Cagatay