Multilateral development bank Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) on Tuesday said it will support India in ramping up its healthcare infra facilities to meet future health challenges. The Beijing-based funding institution said it is working with the Indian government to develop climate-resilient infrastructure projects.
“When we do screening of project proposals, we work with the Indian government to ensure that priority is given to infrastructure projects which could deal with climate change. This is very much in our mind and we are making very important progress in this regard,” AIIB president Jin Liqun said in a virtual conference on the sidelines of the annual meeting.
He said AIIB has financed the project to deal with the pandemic in India and appreciated the fact that the Indian government has been containing the COVID-19 pandemic.
“What we are looking forward to is that we can quicky go back to normal infrastructure investment operations in the country, which can also help in improving the healthcare systems. Moving forward, we will look at both the climate-resilient infrastructure and also support India’s effort to improve its healthcare system. There should be a proper balance between physical infrastructure and social infrastructure,” he said.
AIIB believes that there is a huge need for India given the size of population to strengthen its healthcare system, he added.
Liqun also announced that AIIB will align its operations with the goals of the Paris Agreement by July 1, 2023.
The bank currently estimates its cumulative climate finance approvals to be USD 50 billion by 2030. This amount would represent a four-fold increase in annual climate finance commitments since AIIB started publicly reporting the number in 2019.
Earlier this year, the AIIB announced it would target at least a 50 per cent share of climate finance in actual financing approvals by 2025.
“Today’s announcement reinforces AIIB’s long-standing pledge to support climate action in line with the Paris Agreement. We think the way forward needs greater participation by the private sector on all fronts, so that we can collectively deliver on the promise of building an inclusive, equitable and sustainable future,” he said.
The Paris Alignment commitment would apply to sovereign and non-sovereign projects, including investments made via financial intermediaries.
AIIB is currently testing a rigorous process to ensure projects meet low-carbon and climate-resilient standards consistent with the Paris accord. The approach draws on the international standards and frameworks currently being developed in collaboration with other multilateral development banks.
In the lead-up to COP26 in November, more than 130 countries have set or are considering a net-zero carbon emissions target by 2050.
However, the current level of ambition set out in these plans is, in aggregate, still far too low for the international community to meet the temperature goal of the Paris Agreement to limit global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius, preferably to 1.5 degrees, compared to pre-industrial levels.
AIIB sees leveraging emerging technologies as key to raising climate ambition. PTI