HomeUnited KingdomPress release: New UK partnership to tackle climate change in Latin America

Press release: New UK partnership to tackle climate change in Latin America

  • UK joins private sector arm of Latin America and Caribbean’s largest development bank.
  • Membership will support honest, reliable investment and tackle climate change.
  • Builds on work already underway to help region build a sustainable future.

Development Minister Andrew Mitchell said: Last year, British International Investment, the UK’s own development finance institution, made its first investment in the Caribbean for over twenty years, investing alongside IDB Invest and local partners with the aim to deliver thousands of jobs and support productive, sustainable and inclusive economic growth across the region. The IDB and IDB Invest are key partners for UK objectives in Latin America and the Caribbean. These include promoting democracy and economic growth, preventing organised crime and taking action on climate change. The UK also partners to deepen regional trade and investment relationships and to prevent and prepare for the next pandemic.

The Inter-American Development Bank Group (IDB Group) is the largest source of development financing for Latin America and the Caribbean, providing around £19billion to the region in 2021. It comprises three entities: the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) which lends to sovereign governments; IDB Invest, which invests in the private sector; and IDB Lab, which tests innovative ways to enable more inclusive growth. The solar plants will produce around 440GWh per year, the equivalent power required for 230,000 homes in Colombia. Green electric buses are expected to save an estimated 500,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide over their lifetime – the equivalent to taking 100,000 cars off the road for a year.

The UK’s International Development Strategy also outlines its commitment to help countries strengthen their energy security and provide affordable, reliable, and clean energy for all, employing the full development finance toolkit, including British International Investment. This put the UK’s strengths – its capital markets, innovation, and expertise in science and technology – to work in mobilising more private finance to advance climate and nature goals. The UK and IDB Invest will build on their existing partnership through the UK Sustainable Infrastructure Programme (UKSIP), which supports Mexico, Colombia, Peru and Brazil to reduce their emissions and transition to sustainable infrastructure. The UK has joined IDB Invest, a member of the Inter-American Development Bank Group (IDB Group) focused on development through the private sector, in a move designed to boost the UK’s work reducing poverty and tackling climate change across Latin America and the Caribbean through support for small and medium sized businesses. In the last decade, IDB Invest has listed over £5billion in bonds on the London Stock Exchange. This demonstrates the strength of its partnership with the City and London’s role as the leading hub globally for green finance – ranked first in the world, for a third consecutive time, according to the Global Green Finance Index. Development Minister Andrew Mitchell was joined by IDB President Ilan Goldfajn and IDB Invest CEO James Scriven in London to complete the UK’s membership of the group that provides almost £5billion of annual finance to businesses across the region. Membership will ensure the UK can influence investments that the institution makes annually and promote the UK’s development objectives through the work of the Bank. During their meeting, Minister Mitchell and President Goldfajn agreed on the critical role of the Bank Group in increasing global climate ambitions. The Minister set out the UK’s commitment to international investment in green businesses, stressing its importance in addressing the strategic vulnerability of climate change. Unleashing private sector investment across the Caribbean and Latin America is vital to delivering the UK’s International Development Strategy.


  1. Joining IDB Invest will help us promote private sector investment, alleviate poverty and tackle climate change in a region experiencing its most severe effects.
  2. UKSIP support for IDB Invest projects is expected to raise over £150million in private finance for the development of two solar power plants and the purchase of 400 electric buses.


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