The heads of the world’s largest development banks pledged today to work together to substantially increase climate investments and ensure that development programs going forward consider climate risks and opportunities.

In a joint statement released at the 21st Conference of the Parties of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the African Development Bank (AfDB), Asian Development Bank (ADB), European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), European Investment Bank (EIB), Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), and the World Bank Group (WBG) announced their intention to further mobilize public and private finance to help countries reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to climate change.

In the joint statement, the multilateral development banks (MDBs) pledged to “consider climate change across our strategies, programs, and operations to deliver more sustainable results, with a particular focus on the poor and most vulnerable.”  It noted that the six institutions had already delivered US$100 billion for climate action in developing and emerging countries in the four years since starting to track climate finance in 2011. 

The statement followed on commitments in recent weeks by the MDBs to increased financing for climate change mitigation and adaptation over the next few years. 

The MDBs “pledge to increase our climate finance and to support the outcomes of the Paris conference through 2020,” the statement read. “Each of our organizations has set goals for increasing its climate finance and for leveraging finance from other sources… These pledges support the US$100 billion a year commitment by 2020 for climate action in developing countries.”

Around 180 countries have now submitted their national plans, the Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) to the UNFCCC, laying out plans to tackle climate change and to reduce emissions.

The MDBs also expressed support for the voluntary Principles for Mainstreaming Climate Action within Financial Institutions, along with 17 other multilateral, bilateral, national and commercial finance institutions, and committed to “measure the impact of our work in partnership with others, including the International Development Finance Club.”

“Africa has already been short-changed by climate change. Now, we must ensure that Africa is not short-changed in terms of climate finance. The African Development Bank stands fully ready to support greater climate financing for Africa”, said Akinwumi Adesina, President of the African Development Bank Group.

“Climate finance is critical to mitigate and adapt to climate change impacts. However, finance alone is not enough. It is imperative that we combine increased finance with smarter technology, stronger partnerships and deeper knowledge,” said Takehiko Nakao, President of ADB.

“With their long experience as leaders in climate finance, the Multilateral Development Banks are making important contributions to combatting climate change, using their strong base of expertise to step up green finance, policy advice and the mobilization of crucial private sector funding.  For its part the EBRD is further scaling up its climate finance activity through the implementation of its recently approved Green Economy Transition approach,” said EBRD President Sir Suma Chakrabarti.

“It is only by working together that we will meet the challenge of climate change. I am optimistic that by pooling the efforts of the Development Banks to attract the private finance that is so critically needed, we can transform the ambitions of the leaders into a reality on the ground,” said President of the European Investment Bank Werner Hoyer.“For its part,  the EIB is committing to provide US$100 billion by 2020 for climate action and to step up what we do in developing countries - in particular for those most vulnerable to global warming.”

“In the run-up to COP21, we have worked with many countries in designing their national contributions towards tackling climate change,” said IDB President Luis Alberto Moreno. “Following the Paris conference, we will help countries to translate these into investment plans that successfully attract the necessary capital for full implementation.”

“On climate change, the development banks are shifting into high gear,” said Jim Yong Kim, President of the World Bank Group.“We have the resources, we have the collective will, and we have a clear roadmap in the national plans that our clients have submitted ahead of Paris.”

Joint Statement by the Multilateral Development Banks at Paris, COP21