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[SANTIAGO] Projects worth US$ 1.08 billion, that will help eight developing countries reduce carbon dioxide emissions and mitigate the impact of climate change were approved in the first week of November by the Climate Investment Funds (CIFs), a partnership of five development banks.

CIFs offer interim support to developing countries’ mitigation and adaptation efforts, while international climate summits iron out the exact mechanism of the promised global adaptation fund.

Donor countries have pledged US$ 6.5 billion to the CIFs to help 45 developing countries embark on initiatives on clean energy, sustainable management of forests, and low-carbon climate-resilient development.

India’s investment plan received a US$ 775 million dollar loan, by far the largest sum approved.

One of the star projects is the Super-Efficient Energy Programme. The project money is to be used partly to subsidise manufacture of energy-efficient devices such as ceiling fans, lighting, television sets and refrigerators.

"Companies will need to make high investments to modify production lines in order to manufacture power-saving appliances they can then sell at prices that are attractive to consumers," Shashank Jain, an energy efficiency expert at Shakti Sustainable Energy Foundation, New Delhi, told SciDev.Net.

The loan awarded to India will also help improve energy efficiency in large industries, facilitate the transfer of solar technology and increase hydropower.

In Latin America, Honduras received US$ 30 million for inputting more renewable energy into the national grid and providing clean energy to rural areas. Bolivia obtained US$ 86 million for protecting water sources threatened by climate change in the densely populated areas of El Alto, La Paz and the Río Grande basin.

Mexico received US$ 60 million in grants and credits to improve the sustainable management of forests, including those by community-based enterprises.

In Africa, Mali was awarded US$ 40 million to produce solar, mini-hydro and biofuel energy.

In Asia, US$ 40 million were approved for Nepal for scaling up small hydropower and increasing clean energy supply to rural areas, and US$ 30 million for Lao to reduce deforestation.

The CIF’s Forest Investment Programme launched a grant mechanism that will allocate US$ 50 million to indigenous people and local community projects in Brazil, Indonesia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Mexico, Ghana, Peru, Burkina Faso and Lao.

"Throughout the two years of consultations that helped create this financing mechanism, the indigenous peoples and local communities showed impressive leadership that helped ensure their concerns and needs were addressed," Patricia Bliss-Guest, programme manager for the CIFs, told SciDev.Net.

"This is an important step toward the full participation of indigenous peoples and local communities in climate change decision-making,” she added.

Link to the Climate Investment Funds website