Debora Revoltella, Ambroise Fayolle, Andrew McDowell and Romualdo Massa Bernucci

We may be an ocean apart, but we face many common challenges: tackling climate change, managing new technologies, lowering inequality and avoiding new economic crises and stagnation. This is why the EIB joined up with the University of Columbia, Société Générale, and SUERF to host a conference on Sustainable Policy Responses: EU and US perspectives in New York 20-21 September.    

Nobel Prize-winner Joseph Stiglitz spoke about how in times of dramatic technological change you need structural, competitiveness enhancing policies, such as on re-skilling, to accelerate the adoption of new technologies. Meanwhile, the ECB’s Peter Praet described the challenges created by monetary policy normalisation.

Climate action: a unique opportunity

EIB Vice-President Andrew McDowell presented the EIB’s view in a debate on Delivering on climate change goals. “Ahead of the meeting of the UN General Assembly, today’s conference has been a unique opportunity for U.S. and EU economic and financial leaders on how to mobilise sufficient financing for the investments needed to slow and adapt to global warming.”

McDowell argued that the collective ambition towards achieving the Paris goals has not lost momentum, despite a few setbacks. Indeed, new actors, notably cities such as New York, have increased their action and leadership on this issue. There is also growing demand from investors around the world for opportunities to contribute to sustainable development. The conference discussed what is required to enable a real scaling-up of finance to meet climate change mitigation and adaptation needs.

Africa: From donor focus to sustainable investment

Speaking on the issue of migration, EIB Vice-President Ambroise Fayolle emphasised building investment ties with Africa: “Africa is our partner and our relationship and narrative has to shift from a donor focus to one built on sustainable investment. Investing in the sustainable development goals in Africa should not be seen as a donor exercise. It should be seen as a strategic effort to build a stronger Africa, built on partnership and efforts to empower Africa’s youth. It should be seen as an effort to drive inclusive growth and economic resilience, through investments in public infrastructure and institutions and private sector development.”

Now in its third year, the conference is co-organised by the EIB Economics Department. "It's an important way to enhance understandings among the financial, policy and academic community in the US of the latest economic and policy thinking in the EU”, said Debora Revoltella, Economics Department Director. “It is also an opportunity for the EIB to raise awareness of its role as one of the leading European Institutions, delivering an ambitious investment programme for sustainable growth and competitiveness, a role that is little understood outside on the other side of the Atlantic.”

The conference programme can be accessed here.