IISD-Banks Pledge US$7 Billion for Clean Energy, World Bank Adopts Climate Change Action Plan




7 April 2016: A number of private banks and the World Bank Group (WBG) have announced initiatives that will contribute to implementing the Paris Agreement on climate change, which was adopted in December 2015, as well as various Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). By pledging US$7 billion, a group of eight banks and investors have joined the Bank of America's initiative aimed at stimulating US$10 billion for investments in clean energy and sustainable development.


For its part, the WBG has announced its Climate Change Action Plan, which aims to support countries in delivering on their national climate plans, also referred to as Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) under the UNFCCC, and sets ambitious targets for 2020 in high-impact areas, including clean energy, green transport, climate-smart agriculture and urban resilience.


The Bank of America's Catalytic Finance Initiative is joined by HSBC, Credit Agricole, AllianceBernstein Holding, Babson Capital Management, the European Investment Bank (EIB), the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and Mirova, a subsidiary of Natixis Group, among others, following an invitation-only Future of Energy Summit held by Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) in New York, US, from 4-5 April 2016. The Catalytic Finance Initiative created in 2014 aims to raise at least US$10 billion in new investments to scale up clean energy. The banks' announcement brings the total amount raised to US$8 billion.


According to the joint statement issued by the banks, financial innovation and capital “play a critical role in the transition to a low-carbon economy.” The statement says that, by pledging US$8 billion, the banks can contribute to the advancement of new investment opportunities in clean energy, thereby contributing to the implemention of SDG 7 (Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all), as well as other SDGs. The initiative also aims to “achieve the necessary scale for a positive impact on climate change,” thereby advancing SDG 13 (Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts). Speaking at the BNEF Future of Energy Summit, Jonathan Taylor, EIB Vice-President in charge of environment and climate action, stated: “Many more investors need to factor climate risks more explicitly into their investment decisions.” “We must all start to write our bottom line with green ink,” he added.


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