The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) Board of Directors reaffirmed its commitment to environmental and social standards by approving a revised Environmental and Social Framework (ESF).

The revisions will take effect in October 2021.

The ESF guides AIIB and its clients in the management of environmental and social risks and impacts of AIIB-financed projects.

Originally adopted in February 2016, the ESF serves as the cornerstone of AIIB’s commitment to supporting environmentally and socially sustainable infrastructure projects for its clients. 

Key changes in the revised ESF includes:

-Strengthened language on climate change reflecting AIIB’s climate change financing target of 50% of approved financing.

-Enhancing transparency by adding deadlines for the disclosure of environmental and social documentation and adding more clarity on the disclosure of financial intermediary operations.

-New measures to address environmental, social and governance (ESG) approaches in capital markets operations.

-Elevated importance of gender equality and commitment to addressing gender-based-violence.

– Enhanced language to protect biodiversity and to exclude asbestos from AIIB-financed projects.

“The revisions to the AIIB Environmental and Social Framework demonstrate AIIB’s strong commitment to facilitating sustainable infrastructure development,” said AIIB Vice President, Policy and Strategy, Joachim von Amsberg.

“It is part of our mission to help our clients make progress on their contributions to the Paris Agreement and achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals, and to build Infrastructure for Tomorrow,” he added.

The current amendments follow a focused review that started in 2019 and integrates the inputs obtained from two rounds of consultations from a wide variety of stakeholders, including member governments, development partners, clients (public and private) and civil society organizations. It also reflects the experience gained by AIIB since it began financing operations in 2016.

AIIB recognizes that environmental and social sustainability is a fundamental aspect of the Bank's support for infrastructure development and enhanced interconnectivity in Asia. The ESF aligns with AIIB’s Corporate Strategy, part of which highlighted a climate change financing target of 50 percent of total approved financing by 2025.

The AIIB is a multilateral development bank and began operations in Beijing in January 2016 and have since grown to 103 approved members worldwide. We are capitalized at USD100 billion and Triple-A-rated by the major international credit rating agencies. Working with partners, AIIB meets clients’ needs by unlocking new capital and investing in infrastructure that is green, technology-enabled and promotes regional connectivity.