RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - Six major multilateral development banks (MDBs) have committed to significantly expanding their investment in sustainable development - which currently totals $93 billion annually - in support of global development priorities that are expected to be agreed upon at this week's Rio+20 meeting.
"One of the greatest challenges facing developing countries is finding a way to promote growth that will address climate change, food security and water scarcity while eradicating poverty," said Bindu Lohani, Vice President for Knowledge Management and Sustainable Development at the Asian Development Bank (ADB). "Working together is the best way for multilateral development banks to leverage funds, technology and know-how to make green, inclusive growth a reality."
Signatories to the statement include the Presidents of the African Development Bank, ADB, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, European Investment Bank, Inter-American Development Bank, and World Bank Group.
"The need to transition toward green growth has been recognized as key to sustainable development and prosperity," the MDBs said in a joint statement. "We are committed to supporting this transition to green growth - growth that is attained with a smaller environmental footprint, is inclusive, and achieves gains in opportunities and access to resources by all segments of the population to reduce income inequity."
The MDBs already provide substantial support to countries for climate change mitigation and adaptation, biodiversity and ecosystem management, green cities and sustainable transport, water resource management, food security and other development challenges. They pledged to continue to leverage funding from both the public and private sectors, citing the Clean Technology Fund - which has leveraged each donor dollar into eight dollars from other sources - as a model for resource mobilization.
The Rio+20 meeting is expected to produce an agreement on the development of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), a new set of global targets focused on the three pillars of sustainable development: environmental sustainability, social inclusion and economic growth. The MDBs will support the development of SDGs at the global level and assist countries in tailoring them to regional and national circumstances.
The statement also says the banks are working together to develop a joint method of tracking financing for both climate change mitigation and adaptation measures, as well as a framework for greenhouse gas accounting and reporting, as part of global efforts to improve the monitoring of climate finance flows and their effectiveness.