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[MONTEVIDEO] The Inter-American Development Bank has launched a Sustainable Energy and Climate Change (SECCI) Fund to finance projects in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Approved last week (8 August), the fund will provide an initial US$20 million to boost regional investment in areas such as renewable energy, energy efficiency, biofuels development and financing for carbon trading projects.

It will also support climate change mitigation and adaptation policies and programmes across all sectors in the region. These will also be supported by the IDB Disaster Prevention Fund.

The money will finance the development and implementation of country-level assessments, policy framework analysis, and provide assistance for policy reforms required for investments in biofuels, renewable energy and energy efficiency.

Funds are available to government ministries, climate change national authorities, planning agencies, public and private corporations, local governments, private project developers, nongovernmental organisations and academic and research institutions.

"The fund will help the region's countries to face climate change and its impacts on important economical and social areas — like agriculture, water, health and biodiversity — and will facilitate access to affordable and reliable sources of energy," said Janine Ferretti, environmental safeguards unit chief at the IDB, in a press release.