Asian Development Bank

Level of climate finance transparency

This page is part of the E3G Public Bank Climate Tracker Matrix, our tool to help you assess the Paris alignment of public banks, MDBs and DFIs.

Paris alignmentReasoning
Some progressTransparency of climate finance data is very good but financial intermediary lending needs improving.
Climate Finance DataPublishes underlying project level data for the Joint Report on Multilateral Development Banks’ Climate Finance.
Financial intermediary lendingEnvironmental assessments of high-risk sub-projects published.


Transparency of climate finance data

The Asian Development Bank has provided the project level data underlying its submission to the Joint MDB Report on Climate Finance report in an excel readable format for 2016-2019. This represents best practice amongst the MDBs. Furthermore, within its submission to the OECD-DAC (Development Assistance Committee) climate-related development finance database, the ADB provides the most detail in its description of each project compared to the other MDBs.

Transparency of financial intermediary lending

ADB intends to base its methodology on the relevant Joint MDB Paris alignment of financial intermediaries methodology which is still under development. Decisions on implementation issues will be taken when the approach of the methodology has been clarified.

ADB requires that “for category A and environmentally sensitive B sub-projects above the free limit, the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) or Initial Environmental Examination (IEE) must be cleared by ADB before subproject approval. The summary EIA or summary IEE must be disclosed to the public at least 120 days before the sub-project is approved”. If a financial intermediary has been financed by the Asian Development Bank for climate projects, it is tagged as “development financing institution” under the mode of financial assistance in the database. For Category B projects, the intermediary is responsible for reviewing and disclosing the sub-project, in accordance with ADB’s guidelines. Disclosure is not required on the ADB website, but on the third party’s website.

The Asian Development Bank highlighted at least one Category A sub-project financed through an intermediary. The sub-projects were related to energy efficiency in the chemical industry.  Previous studies have found no disclosed FI sub-projects on the ADB website but it was not clear whether this was due to no environmentally risky projects being funded or a lack of disclosure. Disclosure is challenging to find on the ADB website and this is also difficult on intermediary websites.

Recommendation: All sub-projects should be disclosed, using the same method used for directly-funded ADB projects, which is a downloadable table format.

Recommendation: We recommend that all MDBs consider disclosing their operations against a version of the EU Sustainable Finance Taxonomy that has been adapted for the region the bank operates in. This is because it is science based and is reviewed regularly to reflect changes in technology and science. 

Last Update: November 2020

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