THE Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) said it will reserve at least 50% of its loan portfolio to climate change mitigation projects by 2025.

“We focus on 50% and upwards for financing of climate change adaptation and mitigation by 2025. This is the most important part given the urgency of climate change. Times have now changed. We need to be nimble and (anticipate) the emerging energy crisis. Many countries are vulnerable, experiencing acute macroeconomic distress,” AIIB President Jin Liqun said in a virtual briefing on Wednesday.

“We are going to help countries reduce their emissions so they can reach their net zero goal as early as possible. Our focus has very much remained on the most important challenges faced by society,” he added.

Beijing-based AIIB is building an operating hub in Abu Dhabi, its first overseas office.

“Global problems require global solutions. With a portfolio of 191 projects in over 30 countries, our rapid growth is the catalyst for opening an office that brings our bank closer to the front lines. The AIIB hub provides proximity to global financial centers,” Mr. Jin said.

“The first hub would help us gain experience and inform decision-making in the future. Future hubs would have to be decided by experience and needs of our clients. The hub can help reach out to the private sector and we are also working very hard to mobilize private sector investors by participating in capital markets in many countries,” he added.

Mr. Jin said the bank is working to accelerate the financing of infrastructure projects in the wake of the pandemic.

“The pandemic has (hindered the ability of) countries to finance infrastructure projects. Because of travel restrictions around the world, it will take longer for our people to visit the project sites,” he added.

“Our bank is working hard to accelerate the process because we understand (the need for) timely support for countries in distress… Our financing for those countries, particularly to meet urgent needs, would be fully incorporated for our support for climate financing. The projects we financed were not just to relieve the country of momentary pressure and difficulty. We aim for long term solutions,” he added. — Luisa Maria Jacinta C. Jocson