The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) committed $4.4 billion for projects that target climate change adaptation and mitigation, renewable energy and environmental sustainability in 2014, an increase of $1.5 billion over the previous year.
This investment represents one-third of the Banks’ lending for the year, surpassing its institutional target of 25 percent, according to the IDB’s annual Sustainability Report unveiled here today.
The Report highlights the Bank’s sustainability performance in 2014, both in achieving institutional sustainability investment targets, as well as through a series of stories about the projects it is undertaking in its member countries.
Projects highlighted in the Report include a new model for sustainable hydropower in Peru and the transformation of an urban landscape with new green spaces in Brazil.
The Sustainability Report also details the Banks work to implement a new sustainable infrastructure strategy and vision—one that sees a shift from infrastructure being a fixed asset to infrastructure that is planned, built, and maintained as a service for people. This is particularly important given that in 2014 some 38 percent of the IDBs approvals in 2014 were focused on infrastructure.
“Sustainability lies at the heart of our work,” said IDB President, Luis Alberto Moreno. “This is because we have a responsibility to our region’s future and because sustainability makes our projects better. It improves lives and ensures that our region retains its competitive advantage.”
Other examples of the Bank’s work with member countries highlighted in the publication include improving environmental and social standards in wind projects in Uruguay, and a sustainable tourism program in Belize.
Additionally in 2014, in partnership with the Harvard Zofnass Program, three infrastructure projects in the region that demonstrated efforts to integrate sustainability into planning, design, construction, and operation, were recognized with the Infrastructure 360 Award.
The IDB has also continued to expand its activities through special initiatives focused on different elements of sustainability in Latin America and the Caribbean. In 2014, fourteen cities joined the Emerging and Sustainable Cities Initiative, which helps to identify actions required and to leverage critical funds that help cities on a path to long-term urban sustainability.
In addition, the Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services Program, now in its second year, provided funding in 2014 for 10 new projects which integrate biodiversity and ecosystem services into key economic sectors, such as infrastructure, agriculture, energy, and tourism.
The IDB is the main source of multilateral financing for the Latin America and the Caribbean.