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International finance chiefs commit to climate action boost

In a joint climate finance statement, more than 30 major international financial institutions affirm their commitment to the fight against climate change. The statement by the multilateral development banks and by the International Development Finance Club, whose members are national and sub-regional development banks, said that its members would put “in place more explicit policies to significantly reduce reliance on fossil fuels and rapidly accelerate financing for renewables.”

“Only more public-private cooperation can unlock the huge climate finance challenge,” says EU Bank Vice-President at Climate Finance Day in Paris, France (photo courtesy EIB).

More than 30 international financial institutions committed to collaborating in the fight against climate change, joining forces to meet ambitious climate finance goals set by the Paris Agreement.

The joint climate finance statement came on the heels of an opinion piece Monday by all nine big multilateral development banks that committed to a series of concrete measures aimed at making climate action a key component of development projects in a range of sectors, such as energy, water and mobility.

Forceful opinions

The statement, released at the One Planet Summit in Paris, France came the day after a forceful opinion article from the chiefs of all the big multilateral development banks in which they committed to fulfilling the financial targets of the 2015 Paris Agreement.

“Today’s political climate is uncertain. But climate change is not,” the article said. “Partnership around the world must be maintained in the global effort to achieve a smooth transition to low carbon and climate-smart development.”

The European Investment Bank (EIB), the world’s biggest multilateral lender, put its weight behind the formulation of the joint statement and the opinion article, which was signed by EU bank President Werner Hoyer. The EIB already commits at least 25 percent of its lending to climate action. In 2016 its climate action lending was EUR 19.5 billion.

Impressive though they are, these amounts aren’t enough to stop climate change. After all, the Paris Agreement set the financing target of US$100 billion per annum for climate action in developing countries by 2020. So the EIB joined the other authors of the article in committing to “facilitate the public and private finance that is a vital part of the climate solution.”

Overall, multilateral development institutions committed over US$27 billion in climate finance in 2016.

The chiefs of the multilateral development banks described their commitment as “a serious response to a serious challenge” and ended their statement with an appeal to “others to join us in placing climate action at the center of their business, stepping up climate finance, and tracking its impact around the world.”

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