SDG, urban and housing issues highlighted in IDB 2018 Sustainability Report

The IDB launches its new sustainability report with a focus on housing and urban issues

The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) launched its 2018 Sustainability Report, featuring projects, initiatives, and research, with a focus on housing and urban issues in the context of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

In Latin America and the Caribbean, cities are essential for economic development. 81% of the region´s population lives in cities, a rate which will reach 90% in 25 years. City managers require new tools to foster sustainable growth given that the physical size of cities in the region is growing at two to four times the rate of population growth.

 “We seek to transform the region, fostering low-carbon, resilient and inclusive development” said Juan Pablo Bonilla, Manager of the IDB’s Climate Change and Sustainable Development Sector. “Cities are already on the frontlines of action for global sustainability and will play an increasingly important role in the future.”

Significant levels of investments are needed to fulfill the commitments agreed on the Paris Agreement and the SDGs. In 2018, The IDB Group financed nearly $5 billion in climate change-related activities benefiting Latin America and the Caribbean — through loans, grants, technical cooperation, guarantees, and equity in investments — an amount that accounted for 27 percent of the total IDB Group annual approvals.

The sustainable infrastructure framework, mentioned in the report, goes beyond regulatory approaches to incorporate institutional capacity, improving tools and platforms, and aligning financing to help drive change. The framework emphasizes that sustainability must consider an integrated approach that includes all aspects — economic and financial, environmental, social, and institutional — and be applied throughout the entire project cycle.

The report also highlights the Climate Change and Disaster Risk Management document, a methodology developed by the IDB to be used in all projects to maximize mitigation of risks, using the most appropriate resources for the nature of each project. In addition, the publication presents other tools, such as the Blue Spot Analysis and the Sea Level Rise and Flooding mapping projections, which serve to support better decision-making in projects and policy design.

Finally, the report also mentions the Natural Capital Lab; created as a one-stop shop for IDB Group to drive innovation in the conservation, landscape, regenerative agriculture, biodiversity, and marine ecosystem finance spaces.

The IDB is working with countries to help them raise their ambition by developing smart economies through sustainable infrastructure in cities to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement.

About the IDB 

The Inter-American Development Bank is devoted to improving lives. Established in 1959, the IDB is a leading source of long-term financing for economic, social and institutional development in Latin America and the Caribbean. The IDB also conducts cutting-edge research and provides policy advice, technical assistance and training to public and private sector clients throughout the region.