- Over the past 2 years, the EIB has been cooperating closely with the EC and EEAS on the development finance aspects of the 2030 Agenda in preparation for the Addis and New York meetings. This has been a welcome opportunity to join forces, reminding our shareholders, the EU Member States, and indeed the global community, of the contribution that EIB – as the EU Bank - can make to this debate.
The endorsement of an agreement of this scope, ambition and universality is a major step forward. While poverty reduction remains at their core, the SDGs have a broad focus and are very much aligned with the EIB mandate and core areas of activity such as energy, infrastructure, industrialisation, growth, employment, innovation and research.
Sustainability and climate issues are mainstreamed across all goals, and there is a strong emphasis on the role of the private sector and finance in delivery. From an EIB perspective, the 2030 agenda is thus welcome as it resonates well with what we already do, both inside and outside the EU.
- With the vision now in place, we face the unprecedented challenge of achieving these transformational goals. This will require a strong and global partnership and the mobilisation of all means of implementation, both financial (domestic, international, public and private) and nonfinancial (policies, capacity development, good governance, public administration reform…).
For the EIB, the universality requirement of the post-2015 SDGs means that our expertise, toolkit and financing both within and outside the Union are relevant to the achievement of the new goals. As such, we are well placed to make a significant contribution in a number of key areas:
- Infrastructure: outside the EU, the EIB finances investments in infrastructure sectors such as transport, energy, urban infrastructure including water and ICT, many of them also contributing to climate mitigation and adaptation and promoting innovation.
- Climate: EIB is one of the largest financer of climate related investment (USD 25bn in 2014) and has an annual cross-cutting target to provide over 25% of total financing to climate action projects. We have built strong knowledge and expertise that allows us to develop innovative products and provide solid technical advice and capacity building to both the private and public sector. With its unique experience inside the EU, EIB is well placed to promote knowhow and technology transfer to help developing countries – the worst affected by climate change – build climate resilience.
- Support to private sector: based on its longstanding experience in working with the European private sector, EIB supports local private sector in partner countries, notably MSMEs, working through local financial intermediaries. We also provide financing to private equity funds and have recently started to support social impact funds and other activities where a higher risk profile goes hand in hand with higher impact.
- Risk sharing and crowding in private sector: in addition to its technical expertise for the assessment of viable investments, to which it applies strong environmental and social standards, the EIB has extensive experience and expertise globally in designing and implementing innovative risk-sharing structures to attract funding from capital markets to worthy investment projects.
These are precisely the types of measures that are required to help deliver on the SDGs.
- As the EU starts to explore actions to implement the 2030 Agenda, the EIB stands ready to contribute its operational experience in the key areas above. While traditional grant finance will remain important,1 using ODA as an instrument to leverage other flows will increasingly be required (Smart ODA). The EU blending facilities have proved successful in this respect, and there is scope for EC, EEAS, EIB and Member States to capitalise on this opportunity to further exploit the potential of the “EU offer” on sustainable development.