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Multilateral Development Banks plan more spending on sustainable growth

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Six multilateral development banks (MDBs) have agreed to significantly leverage their commitment to sustainable development.

The six – the African Development Bank (AfDB), the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the Inter-American Development Bank, the European Investment Bank, and the World Bank Group announced the agreement at the UN Conference on Sustainable Development, “Rio+20”, currently taking place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

“The need for transition towards green growth has been recognized as key to sustainable development and prosperity.  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 said in a joint statement.

The MDBs explained that the rationale behind the proposed increase in sustainable development spending was that a new “green paradigm” needed a “concerted global effort to innovate and substantially scale up current efforts.”

They added that Rio+20 provided “a unique opportunity to launch a renewed strategy for sustainable development.”

The MDBs’ cumulative investments in sustainable development activities has averaged $93 billion annually in the past five years, the Banks indicated.

African leaders and world experts believe innovative sources of finance and resources from the private sector are key to achieving sustainable development in Africa.

Speaking at a high level panel on “Financing Sustainable Development in Africa”, African states and their partners discussed resource mobilization for sustainable development – both domestically and internationally.

While green growth is often perceived as an expensive pathway to development, Aly Abou-Sabaa, chair of the AfDB’s Climate Change Coordination Committee observed that “not all green development options are expensive as many could derive benefits,” making it a realistic investment for all types of actors.

The AfDB said it has identified huge opportunities for Africa through its various activities supporting the transition towards a green economy on the continent.

By Ekow Quandzie

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