Skip to main content

Blog 09.12.20 Five years of the Paris Agreement – time for the MDBs to increase action

Five years ago, negotiators were celebrating the adoption of the Paris Agreement. An agreement to unite global efforts to limit global warming to 1.5°C. Today, the fight for these global efforts continues as we witness the impact of climate change on frontline communities and the importance of fighting for climate justice for those who have contributed least to this crisis but who are suffering some of the worst impacts.

Exposing the stories and impacts on the ground

CAN International, member of the Big Shift Global, is running a #WorldWeWant campaign which centres around people and climate impacts.  The campaign highlights how inaction on climate is affecting people’s lives now. It illustrates the need for deep and urgent action to ensure the Paris Agreement is realised and warming is kept to below 1.5°C. This campaign includes the demands of the Big Shift Global that there must be a shift in financial flows, calling for:

  • Just and sustainable recovery that puts health and safety first, invests in resilience building and abandons a fossil fuel growth model;


  • Global finance institutions must prioritize international solidarity through a shift in financial flows from fossil fuel subsidies to secure health and climate safety and support vulnerable countries suffering the most from multiple crises.


The Role of Public Finance in the #WorldWeWant

Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs) should be leading the way in shifting financial flows and setting the pathway for others to follow. In 2016, they agreed to align their work with the Paris Agreement and set up a working group to make this happen. We outlined what this should look like earlier this year in this infographic. We continue to call for a public update from the MDBs on their progress in aligning with the Paris Agreement. Something they had committed to do by the end of 2020.

Members of the Big Shift Global Campaign would like to see the MDBs significantly ramp up their progress towards Paris alignment over the coming months. It is important that action towards this becomes an integral part of public financing of a green, just recovery.

The MDBs have made some progress towards alignment with the Paris Agreement. Some more than others, but they all have a lot more to do…

Tracking the Progress of the MDBs

Big Shift member E3G recently launched an interactive tracker that reviews the progress of the 9 main MDBs according to the building blocks they themselves had set out for their work on aligning with the Paris Agreement.

The tracker uses a traffic light system to rate the different banks. Results from the tracker show no Multilateral Development Banks are fully aligned (yet) with the Paris Agreement, despite their commitments to do so. There is plenty of work ahead for the MDBs to turn the tracker green.

At Big Shift Global, we want to see this happen urgently. We will continue to push for the #WorldWeWant which includes a just and sustainable recovery where public finance abandons fossil fuel investments and supports everyone, including the most vulnerable, to have access to sustainable, renewable energy that does no harm to people or the planet.