The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) launched today its 2019 Sustainability Report with information on its integrated approach to sustainability, the footprint of greenhouse gases (GHG) of its loan portfolio and the achievements of its Corporate Sustainability Program. For the first time, the report also includes information on the systematic assessment of disaster risk and climate change from its projects.
In 2019, the IDB Group financed US$ 4.9 billion in activities related to climate change through its projects, which represented 29 percent of the IDB Group’s annual approvals.
As part of its Environmental and Safeguards Compliance Policy, the IDB Group also calculates the absolute emissions of projects that can generate significant amounts of GHG emissions. In 2019, gross GHG emissions were reported for 34 projects that generated an estimated 214,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent, the lowest value in the past five years.
At the corporate level, the IDB has been the first multilateral development bank to commit to carbon neutrality since 2007. This today covers all emissions from corporate activities, including facilities, transportation, and employee business trips. In 2019, the IDB took a further step by establishing a goal –- approved by its Executive Board in the Corporate Results Framework –- to reduce emissions from facilities and transportation by 14 percent by 2023, with the installation of solar panels and replacement of lights with LED bulbs, among other measures.
The Bank also updated its Policies for the Procurement of Goods and Works, which apply to the procurement of goods, works, and services for loans and technical assistance operations. The policies now include considerations for sustainable procurement.
Finally, the report showcases the Bank’s work on supporting the Latin American and Caribbean countries to build resilience. This includes work on climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction. For example, in 2018 and 2019, the IDB approved six contingent loans for natural disasters in Argentina, The Bahamas, Belize, Ecuador, Jamaica, and Suriname, totaling US$ 885 million.
The Second Update to the Institutional Strategy and accompanying Corporate Results Framework were also approved in 2019 with both maintaining a clear focus on environmental sustainability and climate change.
Beginning in 2020, the IDB’s commitment on disaster and climate risk will be monitored through the Corporate Results Framework. Our goal is for 100% of projects with moderate or high disaster and climate change risk to be analyzing risks to identify resilience actions by 2023. In addition, the IDB has set the goal that 65% of its annual project approvals include investments in adaptation and mitigation to climate change. These indicators are complemented with results indicators to track the amount of GHGs reduced through IDB financing and, for the first time, track the number of beneficiaries of enhanced disaster and climate change resilience, among others.
If Latin American and Caribbean countries are to meet the Sustainable Development Goals and fulfill their commitments under the Paris Agreement, building resilience to natural hazards and adapting to climate impacts will be essential for creating cities and communities that are low-carbon and climate-resilient.