EIB and international partners promote gender equality

EIB and international partners promote gender equality

 March 31, 2022

The European Investment Bank is a prime employer for women, and advocates for gender equality. 

CDC Group, a UK development finance institution, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the European Investment Bank (EIB), joined forces under the framework of the 2X Climate Finance Task Force to promote gender equality and women’s empowerment in climate finance investments.

Gender smart climate finance 

The European Investment Bank

The international partners presented their toolkit, the Gender-Smart Climate Finance Guide, on behalf of the 2X Collaborative, a new global industry body for gender-lens investing, at the COP26 Climate Conference in Glasgow.

Alignment with the Paris Agreement presents an estimated US$23 trillion of climate investment opportunity in developing countries, according to the International Finance Corporation (IFC).

However, about 85 per cent of women-owned businesses remain unserved or underserved financially, equivalent to a US$1.7 trillion financing gender gap.

Research also shows that companies with better gender diversity on boards are more likely to reduce the intensity of energy consumption, greenhouse gas emissions, and water use.

Climate investments with a gender lens can generate revenues for investors and bring significant benefits to women, by mitigating risk, driving value addition and amplifying gender impact and equality.

Women as leaders of climate action 

As the focus of COP26 turned to the impact and role of women as leaders of climate action, the Gender-Smart Climate Finance Guide, provides guidance, tools and analysis and case studies to support investors in identifying investment opportunities and mitigating risk in gender and climate financing. Gender-smart climate finance aims to address gender disparities and better inform investment decisions, leading to enhanced business outcomes and inclusive economic growth and women’s empowerment during the transformation to net-zero economies.

EIB Vice-President Ambroise Fayolle, said, “Climate change and environmental degradation hit women harder, especially in low-income countries. However, women can play a bigger role in building a green economy. The guide that we are launching today is a precious tool to help investors apply a gender lens to their climate investments. Such investments are key to accelerating development and reducing poverty, which are at the heart of the EIB’s mission as the EU Bank.”

The Gender-Smart Climate Finance Guide comprises 11 sector specific and thematic guidance notes outlining how investments can deliver climate mitigation and/or adaptation outcomes, while promoting gender equality and women’s empowerment. The sectors covered include water, transport, climate mitigation and adaptation, biodiversity and green jobs.

Gender-focused investment 

The 2X Climate Finance Taskforce is an initiative of the 2X Collaborative, a new global industry body for gender-lens investing, designed to serve investors making their first gender-focused investment as well as investors at the frontier of this field. The 2X Collaborative was formed by the members of the 2X Challenge, and Multilateral Development Banks, in partnership with the GenderSmart investing initiative, with the goal to expanding gender-lens investing practices to a wider group of commercial investors.

The 2X Challenge was founded by the Development Finance Institutions (DFIs) of the G7 group of nations as a call to action to shift more capital to investments that empower women in developing countries to access entrepreneurship and leadership opportunities, quality jobs, and products and services that enhance their economic participation. After surpassing its original target by 100 per cent, the 2X Challenge committed to raise US$15 billion for gender-lens investment by the end of 2022.

The Gender-Smart Climate Finance Guide was also supported by the Climate Investment Funds (CIF) and the Green Climate Fund (GCF) through the EBRD.

It builds on the COP25’ Enhanced Gender Action Plan, and a new work stream, focused on raising awareness and increasing the amount of climate finance available to women, from both public and private entities.

The European Investment Bank is committed to gender equality 

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Disclosure: Where Women Work researches and publishes insightful evidence about how its paid member organizations support women's equality.

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