Climate Finance | March 9, 2018

Mobilizing billions, then trillions, for climate solutions and energy access

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New commitments from the Green Climate Fund pushed the total capital mobilized by the Climate Finance Lab above the $1 billion mark.

Among the funded projects was the expansion of Energy Savings Insurance to Paraguay and Argentina. The insurance scheme, incubated by the Climate Finance Lab in 2015, insures the financial performance of energy-efficiency projects in a half-dozen Latin American countries.

The Lab has helped launch 25 climate-action investment vehicles, including Climate Investor One, which last year raised $475 million from Norwegian, South African and UK pension funds, Dutch public agencies and other investors. Last month, the Lab, a private-public partnership, selected nine new instruments including mechanisms for accelerating clean energy, low-carbon transit and sustainable land use.

Power Africa

Also crossing the $1 billion mark are commitments to off-grid energy projects backed by Power Africa, an Obama-era initiative continued under President Trump, which aims to double access to electricity in sub-Saharan Africa by 2030.

All told, Power Africa has generated $54 billion in commitments from private investors and has supported 88 power projects in Africa that have brought power to 50 million people since 2013.

The Overseas Private Investment Corp., the self-sustaining development-finance arm of the US government, has committed $2.4 billion. OPIC says the loans, guarantees and political risk insurance have helped bring in private capital to finance 12 utility-scale power plants, eight off-grid and small-scale renewable projects and four microfinance and investment facilities.