To Paris via Lima: highlights for the EIB
The stopover in Lima for the World Bank Group and IMF Annual meetings on 9-11 October proved to be an important stepping stone for the EIB on the Road to Paris.
We announced our intention to increase the proportion of our lending in support of climate related projects in developing countries from 25% to 35%. The announcement builds on the launch of our new Climate Strategy in early October 2015 in which we have committed to dedicating at least 25% of our overall lending portfolio every year to climate projects. We are already the world’s largest lender to climate projects but, even more than that, we are acutely aware that climate finance is about more than numbers – it is also about impact. This is the first pillar of our climate strategy. The increase to 35% in climate vulnerable areas will help to ensure that we target our financial strength where it is most needed. And of course, the 25% minimum for all other areas is still very much a reality!
Another big piece of news for the EIB from Lima was the announcement of a new deal with the World Bank Group to support Ukraine. EIB President Werner Hoyer and World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim signed an agreement that aims to facilitate the purchase of gas by Ukraine’s national gas company, NJSC Naftogaz. Facilitated by a counter-guarantee of the European Union, the EIB will guarantee up to USD 520 million of selected World Bank loans in Ukraine, helping the country to avert a potentially severe energy crisis as winter approaches.
Strengthened partnerships are buzzwords for us not only on the Road to Paris but also thereafter. Cooperation between IFIs is critical if we are to advance the post-2015 agenda. A Memorandum of Understanding with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) will enable our two organisations to enhance cooperation in advancing the Sustainable Development Goals. We have already started to reinforce our joint efforts toward sustainable economic development, financial stability, and inclusive growth. This new partnership with the IMF will benefit the membership of the two institutions by promoting synergies and leveraging financial resources for capacity development.
Finally, in his position of current chair of the Deauville Partnership of MDBs, President Hoyer encouraged his peers to increase our collective support for investment to finance economic and social transformation in the Middle East and North Africa. Together with other international financial institutions the we have helped finance new infrastructure and basic services essential for the quality of people’s lives in the region. And never has continuing this effort been so important as countries in the region are facing huge additional pressures, not least of all to welcome and accommodate refugees escaping fear and violence. The Deauville grouping must now step up our support for sustainable development in the form of infrastructure investment and job creation in the region.