CEB at COP26: Linking social and climate agendas

The recovery from the global pandemic is very likely to be marked by the issue of inequalities, as these have tended to increase despite the importance of welfare measures. At COP26 the CEB championed commitments that put social inclusion at the heart of climate-friendly policies.

The intersection of two of the CEB’s key areas of focus – social inclusion and climate change – at COP26 made this event particularly relevant to the Bank. We have observer status with the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and, having participated in the previous COP, we also took part in COP26 in Glasgow. 

Collective climate ambition

Along with nine other multilateral development banks at COP26, the CEB has pledged to raise climate action ambition, building on its track record of supporting low-carbon, climate-resilient and nature-based solutions for sustainable development in developing countries, and aligning its financial flows with the Paris Agreement.

In the joint statement entitled “Collective climate ambition”, the ten signatories note that to set the world on a sustainable development path requires a significant expansion and acceleration of climate action across countries and economic sectors, taking into account the findings of the Sixth Assessment Report (AR6) of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released in August 2021.

The MDBs committed to: 

  • increase climate finance, including for adaptation
  • support natural capital, biodiversity, and nature-based solutions, as well as gender-smart solutions
  • pursue an active coordination and partnership approach with organisations and coalitions working to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement. 

Our presence at the MDB Pavilion reflected our increasing involvement in the multilateral development bank community at strategic and operational levels. The CEB Environmental and Social Sustainability Advisor Sara De Pablos took part in the event on 'Management of Physical Climate Risks in Projects and Adaptation Plans/Strategies - Lessons from MDBs' alongside the climate experts from other multilateral development banks including the EIB, Islamic Development Bank, African Development Bank and BID Invest.

Is social the new green?

Hosted at the International Development Finance Club (IDFC) pavilion the CEB organised a hybrid side event on connecting climate action and social investment. 

The session set out the specific challenges raised by the social-climate nexus and explored what innovative solutions exist and can be replicated, including through enhanced cooperation with and between public development banks. Through a discussion between Julie Becker, CEO of the Luxembourg Stock Exchange; Bent Madsen, President of Housing Europe; Adama Mariko, Secretary General of the Finance in Common Summit; Isabelle Brun, Head of Strategic Development, CEB, our event made the case for an all-encompassing and integrated approach in which social investments can help achieve more sustainable, resilient and inclusive systems and societies. 

Advocating for social investment

Taking part in COP26 will allowed us to give additional impetus to the Coalition for Social Investment, which we initiated and co-lead in collaboration with the Agence Française de Développement. 

Furthermore, COP26 also enabled us to highlight our role as a social development bank, and the importance of social investment in tackling the climate crisis.