MANILA, PHILIPPINES - Asian Development Bank (ADB) President Haruhiko Kuroda joined heads of other multilateral development banks in calling for a comprehensive agreement to come out of climate change negotiations that begin in Copenhagen next week.

In a statement issued late Tuesday (Manila time), the presidents of the world's leading international financial institutions agreed to further coordinate their financing of climate actions and use their combined expertise and resources to assist UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) parties and the private sector to confront challenges posed by climate change.

The presidents of the Asian Development Bank, African Development Bank, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, European Investment Bank, Inter-American Development Bank, World Bank Group and International Monetary Fund committed their organizations to use technical assistance and funding to reinforce their contribution to the fight against climate change.

The bodies recognized the primacy of the UNFCCC and appealed for an agreement in Copenhagen to provide an ambitious, comprehensive and equitable global climate change regime that enables all countries to achieve sustainable development in a climate-resilient and low- carbon emission way.

They further reiterated their commitment to help developing countries adapt to climate change and to facilitate the development and transfer of climate-friendly technology and knowledge according to the needs of partner countries. The bodies stand ready at this critical point in time to collectively build upon their respective capacities to respond to the challenge and help client countries maximize the use of new financial flows in support of a fair, ambitious and comprehensive climate change regime beyond 2012, the statement said.

"Climate change presents a daunting challenge - perhaps the biggest ever faced by humanity. But it also provides an opportunity to transition towards a more sustainable growth path," Mr. Kuroda said.

"Developing countries cannot be denied the chance to share in the planet's wealth. They can, however, choose to approach economic development differently by leapfrogging directly to more energy-efficient and sustainable solutions. Since infrastructure investments can establish a country's pattern of resource use for decades to come, the time to act is now, before this infrastructure is set in stone," he added.