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Empowering a greener future

Mafalda Duarte's picture
CIF launches annual report that marks 2015 as year of achievements
 CIF
Photo: World Bank Group


This is Morocco’s Noor 1 concentrated solar power plant, the first phase of what will eventually be the largest concentrated solar power plant in the world. It is an impressive sight—visible even from space–and it holds the promise of supplying over 500 megawatts of power to over a million Moroccans by 2018. It also embodies the power of well-placed concessional financing to stimulate climate action. Low cost, long term financing totaling $435 million provided by the Climate Investment Funds (CIF) has served as a spark to attract the public and private investments needed to build this massive facility, and it is just one example of how the CIF is empowering a greener, more resilient future.

There are many more CIF stories to tell, and some of our most impactful are captured in our 2015 annual report “Empowering a Greener Future.” It caps off a very busy 12 months for the CIF, indeed, and the entire global community, as world leaders achieved landmark agreements to launch sustainable development goals and intensify climate change action. With $8.3 billion in climate-smart investments expected to attract at least another $58 billion in co-financing for more than 300 projects in 72 developing countries, the CIF holds a wealth of experience, innovation, and unparalleled knowledge. The CIF is showing how countries invest to meet their development aspirations while contributing to the global good.

Half way around the world from Morocco, CIF concessional financing is also helping small enterprises and famers in Tajikistan cope with climate change. CIF $5 million is supporting local banks in piloting new lines of credit that farmers can access to invest in climate-smart solutions to improve water and energy efficiency and combat soil erosion. This climate resilience financing facility is the first of its kind, but certainly not the last!

It is extremely gratifying to see CIF projects come to fruition and empower countries and businesses to learn from our challenges, replicate our successes, and build on our momentum. But the CIF is more than the sum of its investments. It is also a platform and a solid partnership—one that is paying dividends well beyond our involvement.

The CIF’s programmatic approach embodies a country-driven and country-owned process of strategic planning, deliberation, and alignment with policy and investment interventions from relevant development players, particularly the multilateral development banks (MDBs) that implement CIF funding. Through this flexible process conducted at each country’s own pace and reflecting each country’s own needs and goals, recipient countries benefit from the solid technical and operational expertise, as well as financial leverage, provided by our MDB partners. This business model, and its ability to replicate, is unique in the global finance architecture and highly sought after by developing countries and investors.

Zambia, for example, used the CIF programmatic approach process to establish its Interim National Climate Change Secretariat under the Ministry of Finance. It now coordinates all climate change activities in Zambia and credits the CIF for empowering the country to access climate finance from other sources. Brazil used its CIF engagement to bring together the Ministry of Agriculture and Environment at the same table to discuss and agree upon agendas of common interest.

In 2015, we welcomed 25 new countries—out of a pool of 70 applicants—to begin developing investment plans for climate resilience and sustainable forest management. The CIF now reaches 72 developing countries, and the ambition level is high as new countries strive to emulate and go beyond the success of early participants.

Milestones like these fill me with pride, and with hope. As countries and business leaders take a more aggressive stance against climate change, they can look to the CIF as an experienced and trusted partner in achieving transformational change and setting in motion a greener future for us all.

Comments

Submitted by Irving Mintzer on

The integrated, programmatic approach of the CIF, bringing together strategic planning, stakeholder engagement, and alignment of policy with investment, is key to catalyzing climate-smart investment at scale. The success of the CIF to date demonstrates that the lofty aspirations voiced by so many at COP21 in Paris can be realized at a concrete level through collaborative actions, leveraging available public capital with much larger co-investments by private sector financial institutions and other organizations.

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