Lending to developing countries to reduce the effects of climate change, also known as climate financing, expanded to $78.9 billion in 2018 — up by 11% from the year before, according to a report on Friday.

The increase from $71.2 billion in 2017 was driven by a rise in public climate finance, while private climate finance remained flat, said the report by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

Of the total public climate finance, developed countries provided $62.2 billion in 2018, up from $54.5 billion in 2017.

“Over 2016-18, Asia benefited from the largest share of climate finance at 43%, followed by Africa (25%) and the Americas (17%),” said the report.

In terms of distribution by income group, 69% of climate finance was allocated to middle-income countries, while 8% went to low-income countries and 2% went to high-income countries.

The report said the remaining 21% was allocated at the regional level, rather than to any particular country.

“Out of the overall climate finance in 2018, 70% went to climate change mitigation activities, 21% went to adaptation and the remainder to crosscutting activities,” it said.

More than half of total climate finance targeted economic infrastructure — mostly energy and transport — with most of the remainder going to agriculture and social infrastructure, notably water and sanitation.

“Climate finance to developing countries continues to grow but in 2018 was still $20 billion short of the 2020 goal of mobilising $100 billion,” said OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurria.

Gurria added that early in 2019, data from the EU and its member states, the largest provider taken collectively, indicate that bilateral public climate finance may have continued to increase last year.

He urged donors to speed up efforts to support developing countries against the immediate effects of the novel coronavirus pandemic and to “integrate climate actions into each country’s recovery from the COVID-19 crisis to drive sustainable, resilient and inclusive economic growth.

The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change aims to mobilize $100 billion per year by 2020 to help developing countries tackle and adapt to climate change.

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