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DBN TO FINANCE CLIMATE CHANGE ADAPTATION PROJECTS

PHOTO: CONTRIBUTED

By: Nghiinomenwa Erastus

The Development Bank of Namibia has opened its doors to fund climate-adaptive entrepreneurial projects in water, renewable energy and buildings.

In announcing its new line of funding last week, the development bank explained that although climate change poses challenges, it also offers opportunities to mitigate and develop climate-adaptive initiatives and enterprises for the future.

To enable climate-adaptive projects in the country, the development bank funding line will finance projects that can capture, purify, extract (dams), distribute water and efficient water technology.

On renewable energy, the bank will fund solar and wind energy generation projects.

At the same time, projects on energy efficiency and distribution of energy can also be considered.

The funding line will also cater for sustainable and energy-efficient buildings.

Those planning to build heat-dissipating buildings and housing projects together with energy-efficient buildings and housing projects can be funded by the bank.

The funding also stretches to consultants providing climate-adaptive service-providing enterprises.

The development bank has previously financed low-carbon renewable energy generation, water reclamation for industrial use in Walvis Bay, water storage in Neckartal Dam and reclamation initiatives.

According to the bank’s chief executive Martin Inkumbi in the face of prolonged droughts, there is an opportunity for enterprises to invest in water efficiency.

Moreover, investing in technology and processes that are energy and water-efficient reduce the amount of energy and water consumption per output for a business.

Eventually, lowering production and or operational costs and improve profitability.

He added that the bank has experience in water reticulation for local authorities and PPPs but said there was still scope for further development in water recycling, reclamation and storage in abattoirs.

On the topic of rising temperatures, Inkumbi noted that there is a twofold cost.

The first cost is the cost of cooling facilities, and the second cost is the cost of mitigating health issues caused by rising heat.

The cost of cooling facilities adds to the cost of an enterprise, placing a burden on power generation.

“By constructing plants and facilities with heat dissipation in mind, these circumstances can be mitigated,” he explained.

Inkumbi added that energy-efficient housing developments incorporating heat dissipation would reduce the cost of running a household.

Inkumbi highlighted that there is understandable introversion to finance projects with unfamiliar financing outcomes.

However, he said it was the case when DBN started financing privately owned renewable energy.

Inkumbi assured that the bank de-risks innovative projects with extensive due diligence on innovation and absorbs, manages and learns from its risks.

“In this way, the bank hopes to pioneer finance for climate change adaptation that will make Namibia more sustainable,” he stated.

DBN call on engineers, architects, consultants and project managers to lean more towards energy and water-efficient designs and for businesses to approach the bank for finance.

The bank said innovators should not shy away from pitching new technologies and techniques, as consideration for finance is entirely on its feasibility.

TALK AND NO FUNDING

End of September this year, the head of the United Nation-backed Green Climate Fund (GCF) reminded rich countries to deliver on a promise to channel $100 billion a year in climate finance to developing nations.

The UN call comes as about 50 climate ministers met in Milan, Italy, on working out details and tackle differences on the pace of green transition and who pays for it before the COP26 at the end of this month.

COP26 (Conference of the Parties) is the next annual UN climate change conference.

The push from the UN aims to galvanise the collective effort needed to limit global warming to 1,5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial times, the lowest goal in the 2015 Paris Agreement.

But with days to go to the COP26, the U N officials said they have yet to see ambitious enough action.

Including fulfilment of an overdue pledge to channel $100 billion a year from 2020 to help poorer nations adapt to global warming and adopt cleaner energy.

The Green Climate Fund (GCF) executive director spoke through Reuters that “the $100 billion is critical to catalysing much larger financial flows”.

The GCF was set up under UN climate talks in 2010 as one of the main global funds to support developing-country efforts to tackle climate change and started allocating money in 2015.

Glemarec said the latest figures – showing climate finance for vulnerable nations at just under $80 billion in 2019 – “were a disappointment and could undermine the COP26 talks”.

He added that it is challenging to trust parties since Copenhagen COP15 (in 2009) that the fund highlighted its needs of funds “$100 billion”.

Glemarec said delivery of the $100 billion – some of which flows through the GCF – was essential to ensure the fund has enough money in its coffers to disburse to developing countries. Email: erastus@thevillager.com.na

 

Julia Heita

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