BBVA is part of a European high level expert group charged with providing recommendations to the European Commission to promote sustainable financing in emerging countries and bridge the gap that currently exists in financing the SDGs. BBVA is the only private bank in this group, which will present its recommendations in mid-2023.
In July 2021, the European Commission adopted the ‘Strategy for financing the transition to a sustainable economy’, In the framework of this strategy, a High Level Expert Group (HLEG) was created to offer recommendations to the European institution on transformative and innovative actions the EU can take to mobilize private sector funding. The goal is to obtain massive investments to face the most urgent global challenges and ensure the sustainable development of emerging countries.
The members of the group will discuss topics such as support for financial instruments and products related to sustainability; global and local investments in projects that are sustainable and aligned with the SDGs; and building coherent frameworks and ecosystems that make it possible to accelerate private financial flows for sustainable development, based on EU experience in sustainable financing.
The expert group met for the first time on September 27th in Brussels. It has 20 members, who were selected based on their experience in sustainable finance and financial markets, as well as that of their organizations. This group was also put together following gender and geographic balance criteria.
“Russia's war of aggression in Ukraine and its economic fallout has dramatically impacted countries around the world, increasing the funding gap needed to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. Public resources continue to play an important role, but this is not enough. As Team Europe, we are stepping up our efforts to bring in private capital towards sustainable investments. I look forward to the recommendations of the High-Level Expert Group. These will feed into the EU's forthcoming EU sustainable finance strategy for low and middle-income countries that will underpin and boost the delivery of Global Gateway [European strategy to foster connections in digital, energy and transportation sectors, and to strengthen health, education and research systems around the world],” said the EU Commissioner for International Partnerships, Jutta Urpilainen.
Jutta Urpilainen, European Commissioner for International Partnerships, participated to the the first meeting of the High-Level Experts Group on Sustainable Finance for Low and Middle Income Countries (Emergentes). - @ European Union, 2022 / EC Audiovisual Service / Photographer: Jennifer Jacquemart
Antoni Ballabriga, Global Head of Responsible Business at BBVA, will be part of this expert group in representation of the bank. “It’s a great opportunity for BBVA to be able to participate in such a diverse and qualified group in order to identify the main barriers and make concrete proposals to scale up financing for sustainable development in emerging countries. We need to include emerging countries in the transition or we will fail as a society,” he declared.
The expert group also has 20 observers, including the Spanish Agency for International Cooperation and Development (AECID); the European Investment Bank; the Inter-American Development Bank; the World Bank; the IMF, the OECD and the United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI).
The expert group will present a report with recommendations for the European Commission to bridge the gap that currently exists in funding for SDGs and to accelerate private financial flows for the implementation of the external dimension of the Green Deal, and a green, fair and resilient recovery in member states. The report will be open to the public, as it will represent an important contribution to political debate and to the EU’s future sustainable finance strategy for low and middle income countries.