Development banks pledge to increase finance for climate change action



The world’s leading multilateral development banks (MDBs) have issued a joint pledge to increase their efforts to help developing nations fight climate change.

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Ahead of a crucial UN climate summit, to be held in New York on September 23, the World Bank, the European Investment Bank, and their counterparts from around the world have reaffirmed their commitment to mobilising climate finance.

In a joint statement the MDBs, also including the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the African Development Bank, the Asian Development Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank, say they have already delivered $75 billion (£46.2bn) towards climate action since 2011.

“We will further coordinate our financing, ideas and analyses, and continue to harmonise our approaches on climate action,” the banks say. 

“We now pledge to build on our work so far and to enhance our climate finance action, in accordance with our organisations’ respective mandates, expertise, and resources.”

Though the statement does not go as far as giving targets or any exact figures, the banks say they will provide transparent climate finance reporting, promote green bonds, and help develop new renewable energy investment ideas. 

They also promise to mainstream climate change concerns throughout their own core operations.

“Individually, collectively, and by working with the wider finance and climate community, MDBs have been charting a path forward in climate action. We aim to lead by example and influence the trajectory of financial developments in support of global climate action,” the statement concludes.

“By seizing opportunities for investment and attracting finance at scale for low-carbon and resilient development, we encourage others to join us in catalysing the necessary increase in climate finance.” 

The pledge comes as many developing nations, who will disproportionately bear the brunt of climate change despite having contributed less to greenhouse gas emissions, have expressed their frustration at a lack of help from their richer neighbours.

In 2009 developed nations promised to provide $100 billion (£61.6bn), of both private and public money, each year by 2020 to help developing nations deal with climate change impacts. Developing nations say more must be done if this is to be achieved.

Further reading:

$100 million climate resilience fund launched to help poor countries

Climate and civil activists criticise proposed World Bank environmental and social framework

BRICS: $100bn sustainable development bank launched by world’s largest developing economies

China: developed nations should take the lead on climate change

COP19: China urges progress on 2020 climate finance targets


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