OPEC Fund supports Panama efforts to address climate change with $120m loan

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Photo by Franklin Canelon on Unsplash.

Development Bank of Latin America and OPEC Fund partner to help accelerate Panama’s transition towards inclusive, sustainable, low carbon and climate resilient development.

The OPEC Fund for International Development (the OPEC Fund) is providing a $120m loan to Panama to support the country’s climate action, adaptation, resilience and mitigation policies. The Panama Support Programme for the National Climate Change Policy aims to mitigate, contain and reverse the effects of climate change, helping Panama to achieve its long-term climate change commitments aligned with the Paris Agreement.

The OPEC Fund is partnering in the project with CAF, the Development Bank of Latin America, which is supporting the programme with an additional $320m sovereign loan.

While Panama is considered a carbon negative country with almost no contributions to global emissions, it is highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. Natural disasters and extreme weather events including floods, droughts, tropical cyclones, tsunamis and recurring tropical climate patterns El Niño-La Niña have caused significant losses in recent years. In response Panama aims to accelerate the transition towards inclusive, sustainable, low carbon and climate resilient development.

OPEC Fund director-general Dr Abdulhamid Alkhalifa said: “We recognise Panama’s dedication and endorse its efforts to mitigate climate change risks and contribute to the global climate goals through public policies and instruments. This will support Panama’s long-term sustainable socio-economic development and improve livelihoods for its people. Our support is aligned with the OPEC Fund’s first dedicated Climate Action Plan, which increases the share of our climate financing to 40% of all financing by 2030.”

The Panama Support Programme for the National Climate Change Policy is supporting three policy areas – climate action, adaptation and resilience and mitigation. It comprises a set of comprehensive policy actions and regulations, which include the implementation of a low-carbon development strategy and a national energy transition agenda, promotion of clean and renewable energy generation, programmes to increase climate resilience to extreme weather conditions and development of effective water management and promotion of low-carbon electric transportation systems in the country.

The programme is aligned with UN sustainable development goals (SDG) SDG 13 (climate action), SDG 7 (affordable and clean energy) and SDG 11 (sustainable cities and communities).