How Public Development Banks Can Help Nature
Public development banks will be critical to global efforts to build back better from the COVID-19 pandemic and its economic fallout. To realize their potential, they should complement their climate investments by setting explicit nature-based goals and targets.
MONTREAL/WASHINGTON, DC – This week’s Finance in Common Summit will mark the first time that leaders of the world’s 450 public development banks (PDBs) come together to discuss how to reorient investments toward sustainable development. Given the current global economic uncertainty and compounding environmental threats, the gathering comes at a critical moment. It is a welcome opportunity to consider how public financial institutions can help steer funding toward conservation and sustainable use of natural resources – thus opening up an asset class that supports both people and the planet.
The summit is also a chance to underscore the vital importance of a healthy environment as a basis to fulfill the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, the Paris climate agreement, and a new, ambitious framework under the UN Convention on Biological Diversity. More immediately, PDBs will be critical to global efforts to build back better from the COVID-19 pandemic and its economic fallout.
A recent report by the Finance for Biodiversity initiative underlined the urgent need to address the shortcomings of G20 governments’ COVID-19 economic stimulus packages, and concluded that the current recovery path risks reinforcing negative environmental trends. But the report also highlighted the opportunity to act decisively to prevent irreversible damage to nature that will long outlast the pandemic.