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European Investment Bank publishes new Water Sector Orientation.

The effects of climate change are being felt across the globe. Still, water remains largely absent from net-zero strategies; it is the invisible enabler for the transition to a green economy. The European Investment Bank (EIB) Water Sector Orientation sheds light on the strong role climate-resilient water systems can play to achieve sustainable development for all.

The EIB’s new Water Sector Orientation document presents the Bank’s investment priorities in the sector, where limited financing is available. These priorities include conventional infrastructure as well as innovative approaches, such as circular economy, nature-based solutions, and digitalisation.

Within the European Union, safe drinking water and sanitation are available virtually everywhere. But billions of people still don’t have access to clean water and about half of the world’s population doesn’t use safely managed sanitation. The EIB aims to strengthen water security and climate change adaptation around the globe.

By 2050, over 40% of the global population is likely to live in river basins under severe water stress. Hundreds of millions are expected to remain without access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation. The resulting increase in water insecurity is likely to multiply the risk of conflict, and food price spikes caused by droughts may inflame latent conflicts and drive migration. There is hence an urgent need for increased public and private investments in the water sector.

In view of the large investment gaps in the water sector, the EIB paper confirms the need to strengthen water security across the globe in a changing climate, as well as clarifies which type of financing will have the highest impacts as seen through the lens of the European Investment Bank’s internal lending rationale, objectives, and drivers.

The full paper can be viewed here.

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