WASHINGTON - While Africa is often seen as ground zero for climate change, it’s hardly the only region buffeted by out-of-control weather patterns.

Asia hosts 60% of the world’s population, bore the brunt of climate-related disasters last year, and is heating up faster than the global average. It also requires $1.1 trillion annually for its adaptation and mitigation needs, but only receives $333 billion.

At the same time, it’s a region that has seen a steady growth in the use of blended finance structures for climate and has a healthier mix than other regions when it comes to financing for mitigation and adaptation.

It’s against this backdrop that over 1,500 investors, philanthropists, the private sector, and government officials from around Asia converged on Abu Dhabi last week to discuss leveraging more private capital to address development challenges such as climate change. They met as part of the flagship conference hosted by AVPN, the largest network of social investors in Asia.

Blended finance has the potential “to unlock vast pools of capital, where traditional philanthropy and government aid alone cannot address,” Vikas Arora, chief of impact investing at AVPN, told the conference attendees.

But it also comes with challenges, including the sheer complexity of such deals. And there’s the need to bring the right partners together, AVPN’s Tristan Ace told my colleague Sara Jerving.

"It's just people willing to roll their sleeves up and really, kind of figure out how to coordinate all these different actors,” he said.

The desert country of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) — located in one of the driest regions in the world — was recently pummelled with rains so intense it submerged airport tarmacs and left major roads impassable.

Extreme weather like this is becoming the new norm for the world’s population as climate change wreaks havoc on weather systems.

The UAE also held the world’s largest annual gathering that aims to galvanize the world on climate action only five months ago.