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MDBs to expand support for countries seeking climate-resilient sustainable transition

By Vanora Bennett


Multilateral development banks (MDBs), which together provided record levels of dedicated finance in 2021 to support the green transition, have issued a forward-looking joint statement at the COP27 global climate summit in Sharm el-Sheikh.

Despite today’s challenging environment, the MDBs affirmed their commitment to expand their support to countries seeking finance to mitigate climate change and adapt to a warming planet. Multilateral banks also vowed to address the challenges of sustainable development, climate change and biodiversity loss in an integrated way.

“Across continents, climate change is having increasingly severe environmental, social and economic impacts, posing a significant and urgent challenge to development and the achievement of the SDGs [United Nations Sustainable Development Goals by 2030]. The current global context of multiple shocks, elevated risks, and stretched public resources are exacerbating the challenge, particularly for developing countries,” the MDB statement said.

Maintaining  true momentum on climate action, the statement went on, requires all parties involved – governments, multilateral development banks (MDBs) and partners across society - to work together on impactful programmes and projects, appropriate public policies and significantly increasing funding from multiple sources:

“Recognising the interconnected challenges of sustainable development, climate change and nature loss, MDBs have committed to address these challenges in an integrated manner, maximising co-benefits while minimising trade-offs, notably by continuing to address the direct and indirect drivers of nature and biodiversity loss.”

MDBs have committed to expand support for countries and other clients to integrate climate mitigation and adaptation into their overall economic planning, from Long Term Strategies and Nationally Determined Contributions to sectoral and sub-sectoral transition pathways; formulating policies to spur systemic change; defining investment plans, and mobilising financing sources.

The MDBs, which are working with an increasing number of countries, regions and cities to develop programmes addressing climate mitigation, climate resilience and adaptation and “nature-positive” needs, will prioritise:

  • Implementing Paris Alignment approaches
  • Mainstreaming Just Transition efforts to ensure to ensure the green transition gives opportunity to all
  • Boosting adaptation finance, especially to low income countries, small island developing states, and disadvantaged populations
  • Supporting efforts on nature, developing on 2021’s Joint Statement on Nature, People and Planet
  • Increasing concessional finance
  • Scaling up private sector mobilisation
  • Voluntary cooperative approaches, through which MDBs support the development of instruments for, say, the monetisation of adaptation benefits or verified emissions reductions.

The MDBs, major providers of and conduits for climate finance globally, met their collective expectation for 2025, made in 2019, on raising finance volumes, as their Joint MDB Climate Finance Report 2021 showed.

Out of their total climate finance last year, US$ 51 billion went to low- and middle-income countries, of which US$ 33 billion (65 per cent) was for mitigation and US$ 18 billion (35 per cent) for adaptation; US$ 31 billion went to high-income countries, of which 95 per cent was for mitigation and 5 per cent for adaptation. A further US$ 41 billion of private finance was mobilised globally. The MDBs have also worked together on a range of topics, such as Paris Alignment approaches and updating their adaptation finance tracking methodology.

MDBs working together for the annual Joint MDB Climate Finance Report include the African Development Bank, Asian Development Bank, Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, Council of Europe Development Bank, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, European Investment Bank, Inter-American Development Bank Group, Islamic Development Bank, New Development Bank, and the World Bank Group.

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