Time: October 26, 2021, 9:15-10:30 p.m. (GMT+8)

The Role of Multilateral Development Banks in Developing and Promoting ESG Principles and Standards

While the world continues to grapple with the effects of climate change and social inequality, there is increased urgency in both the public and private sectors to ensure that continued development is achieved in a sustainable manner. Given the objectives of MDBs and how multilateral financial institutions differ from the private sector, it has been argued that MDBs should be at the forefront of developing and standardizing environmental, social and governance (ESG) principles. Against this backdrop, the event looked at market trends and standardization procedures, in particular:

  1. The current market trends with regard to ESG principles and “green financing” and how these principles are being translated into legal requirements in financing and investment documentation.
  2. Market orientation and role panelists envision for MDBs in catalyzing this process.
  3. Impediments to the standardization of ESG disclosures and how these can be addressed.
  4. Principles, mechanisms and legal structures which gain the most traction within the private sector.

Panelists provided a critical analysis of current approaches to incorporating ESG principles and thought-provoking insights as to where the market is headed and the role that MDBs can play in supporting standardization mechanisms.


  • Alberto Ninio, General Counsel, AIIB
  • Sheila Aggarwal-Khan, Director, Economy Division, UN Environment Programme
  • Charles Di Leva, Former Chief Counsel, E&S, World Bank
  • Nicolas Grabar, Partner, Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP