Thomas Östros, Vice-President of the European Investment Bank, spoke at the SDG Action Weekend's session on Local2030 Coalition: Pushing key transitions and achieving the SDGs by 2030.

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Chair, Ladies and Gentlemen,

For the European Investment Bank, financing local development is part of our DNA. Nearly one third of our annual 65 billion euros is dedicated to “local financing” of infrastructure and services in cities and regions.

As the EU climate bank, and building on our European and international experience, we make sure our financing is Paris-aligned and sustainable, and the SDGs are a key priority.

In 2022, EIB invested 48 billion euros into projects contributing to SDG 11 – Sustainable Cities and Communities, and significant amounts to the many other SDGs critical for local development at all scales.

What we aim for is impact. To take some examples, these projects contributed to renovating 85,000 affordable housing units, providing safe drinking water to 25 million people, and reducing drought risk for 11 million people.

We finance investments at multiple territorial scales, for example: metro projects in six major Indian cities, financing for over 200 small informal settlements across Tunisia. We also engage with the private sector, for instance through our affordable housing projects across Africa.

Besides financing, we also provide advice and technical assistance – for example via the City Climate Finance Gap Fund, which we implement with our partner GIZ in Africa, Latin America, and South-East Asia. The Gap Fund helps local governments turn project concepts into viable climate action projects. By working with city networks like ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability, and the Global Covenant of Mayors, as well as sub-national development banks, we are aiming to reach municipalities at all scales – not just the capital cities.

Leaving no one behind is also at the essence of our support to territorial balance, social cohesion, just transition and resilience.

Reflecting with sadness on the recent earthquake in Morocco, as well as the continual displacement of people due to conflict and war, where the most vulnerable are the ones mainly impacted, we aim to strengthen the resilience of local communities and help them build back better after disasters.

We work quickly to mobilise resources to help where we are needed the most. This July, we approved a loan to rehabilitate local drinking water and sewerage infrastructure for citizens affected by the February 2023 earthquakes in south-eastern Türkiye.

To conclude, at the EIB, we see the concepts of cohesion, common purpose and partnership as keys to achieving the SDGs. Therefore, our borrowers – which span all levels of government, private service providers, investment funds and local banks – are also our most important partners over the long term.

Thank you.