ADB, multilateral banks commit to mainstreaming nature at COP26

Published : 04 Nov 2021 01:18 AM | Updated : 04 Nov 2021 01:59 PM

The Asian Development Bank (ADB)  and other leading multilateral development banks (MDBs) yesterday  issued a high-level joint statement affirming their commitment to  mainstreaming nature into their policies, analysis, assessments, advice, investments, and operations.

The statement, which was launched at COP26 in Glasgow,  recognizes the critical role nature's ecosystems and biodiversity  play in supporting the planet and people's health, well-being, and  livelihood. 

The MDBs pledged to work together to support a sustainable,  inclusive, green, and resilient post-COVID-19 recovery that  upholds each bank's respective environmental, climate, economic,  gender, social, and institutional sustainability standards,  supporting green growth and jobs, said a press release.

"The Asian Development Bank recognizes that protecting nature  is essential to addressing climate change and building prosperity for all,” said 

ADB President Masatsugu Asakawa. “We endorse this common agenda to  mainstream nature across our operations.”  

It is estimated that at least 28 percent of the $11.2 trillion  in development finance institution investments in 2019 are highly  exposed to the risks of biodiversity loss and ecosystem  degradation. 

The MDBs agreed to better work to understand this risk and  tackle the drivers of nature loss and climate change by fostering  and making "nature-positive" investments. 

The statement was also endorsed by the African Development Bank, Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, Caribbean Development  Bank, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, European  Investment Bank, Inter-American Development Bank, Islamic  Development Bank, and World Bank Group. 

They have agreed to work together to consider a common  approach to defining nature-positive finance, building on the MDB  climate finance tracking methodology. 

In his remarks at the MDBs' roundtable discussions in Glasgow, Asakawa said nature-positive investments will be key in  contributing to ADB's recently announced ambition to provide $100  billion in cumulative climate financing from 2019-2030, including  $34 billion dedicated to climate adaptation and resilience. 

The joint statement supports the need to better value nature  so that natural capital is given weight equal to that of other  measures of national wealth, such as gross domestic product,  exports, and government revenues. 

ADB is developing a regional Natural Capital Lab to serve as a  platform for evolving and sharing methods for valuing biodiversity  and ecosystems and for building knowledge, capacities, and  alliances across the region.

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