Forum pledges billions to fast track climate support

Philanthropists and financiers have announced a series of new initiatives which will pump billions of dollars into what the White House has described as the biggest investment opportunity in history.

Participants at the Climate Finance Mobilization Forum, which was convened by the UK energy security and net zero secretary Grant Shapps and US special presidential envoy for climate John Kerry, had been tasked with creating new initiatives which will speed investment in climate resilience for developing economies.

Key announcements from the event included:

  • Builders Vision, Mitsui & Co. and Renewable Resources Group Partnership will identify over $1 billion of Nature-Based Solutions Projects in Emerging Markets through a new venture they are pursuing to address impacts of climate change across critical supply chains in agriculture, natural resources development, and energy. The firms seek to cooperate on activities globally where nature-based solutions – such as regenerative farming, agroforestry, and sustainable water management – can be used alongside best-in-class technology solutions and local community expertise to develop products and systems that reduce negative environmental impacts and create sustainable and mutually beneficial outcomes. These firms will identify at least $1 billion of initial project opportunities in emerging markets where investors and corporations can deliver on carbon neutrality and sustainability pledges via direct investment and supply chain participation. Potential initial investment projects span highly biodiverse and at-risk climate regions, including areas of Central and South America, the Middle East, and North Africa with ambition to expand to sub-Saharan Africa and East Asia over time. Cooperation and collaboration with multinational corporations, governments, family farmers, and others is welcomed to support these opportunities.
  • Builders Vision is also committing $100 million in oceans-related investments and grants in emerging markets focused on blue carbon ecosystem conservation, oceans carbon dioxide removal, shipping decarbonization and advancing wind energy.
  • LeapFrog Investments, an impact investment firm operating in emerging markets, has committed to investing $500 million in companies that are addressing climate change in Africa and Asia. Their aim is to provide green tools and technologies to 50 million low-income people, enabling them to improve their lives and livelihoods. This investment will focus on supporting companies in the built environment, energy, mobility, and food sectors, which are key areas for a green transition. By 2030, overall investments in these four sectors alone could help reduce greenhouse gas emissions substantially and could create an estimated 90 million new jobs in developing countries.
  • The Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) is launching a $500 million Coalition for African Entrepreneurs, to catalyse a further 100,000 young African entrepreneurs and small businesses, focusing particularly on fragile states, women entrepreneurs, and green entrepreneurship. The Foundation has, since 2015, connected over 1.5 million young Africans on its digital hub, TEFConnect, and disbursed nearly $100 million in direct funding to 18,000 African women and men, who have collectively created over 400,000 direct and indirect jobs. The Coalition is open to development agencies, the global private sector, philanthropic organisations, and governments to create meaningful change and empower Africa’s next generation. Creating a green entrepreneurial revolution is fundamental to the Coalition, as we embed sustainable practices and solutions across the next generation.
  • The Sustainable Market Initiative (SMI) has announced its Terra Carta Accelerator Fund with a target of £100 million.  The initial focus of the Accelerator Fund will be to bring natural capital projects, with climate co-benefits, to investability and scale with a focus on emerging and developing markets.  It also aims to pilot Nature and climate-aligned supply chain transitions across industries globally.  The Accelerator Fund builds on a challenge from His Majesty King Charles III to ensure the private sector is helping to scale a minimum of five land-based and five marine-based projects a year to 2030 as a significant contribution to the Global Biodiversity Framework including the effective conservation and management of at least 30% of the world’s land, coastal areas and oceans in addition to the restoration of 30% of terrestrial and marine ecosystems. The members of the Sustainable Markets Initiative’s Financial Services Task Force have committed over $8.9 trillion to support the transition to net zero by 2030 (or sooner) and have already provided and mobilized over $2.5 trillion in capital as part of those commitments since 2020/2021.
  • Forrest Group (Fortescue, Minderoo Foundation and Tattarang) will pursue  a unique portfolio of blended philanthropic, private and public finance with seven priority actions to continue the scale-up of its green metals and green businesses, including (1) embarking on a new project of work with the Green Hydrogen Standard 2.0 at COP28 to ensure standards are set in a way that helps emerging economies thrive while also partnering with leading African universities to develop the skills required to enable the hydrogen industry in Africa; (2) developing an ethical and secure supply chain for critical clean technologies with practical initiatives such as transforming an existing, surplus geothermal energy source to generate green hydrogen in Kenya; and (3) building an estimated $20 billion in renewable energy projects across the world, including in Africa, Australia, Europe and Latin America. Projects are expected to be financed in the rapidly developing green, structured finance global capital markets.

A White House spokesperson explained: “The gathering builds on longstanding UK-US efforts to turbocharge the net zero, resilient transition already underway in developing and emerging economies on the road to COP28.  The Forum brought together key players to identify how we can go further faster to mobilize the private investment needed to expand clean and renewable energy across the globe, reduce both potent CO2 and non-CO2 emissions, halt deforestation and restore forests, and build resilience to a changing climate.”
“Recognising the scale and urgency of the climate crisis, the gathering emphasised the importance of partnership across governments, philanthropies, and investors – given that no single actor can mobilise finance at the scale required by acting alone,” they added.  “The scale of this transition requires trillions in private investment in addition to the public funds we are spending. It is also one of the biggest investment opportunities in history.  Private sector financial institutions and philanthropists announced a range of new investment platforms and initiatives during the event that demonstrated their commitment to concrete actions to finance efforts in Africa, Asia and Latin America.  These efforts will help reduce emissions and boost climate resilience – while generating jobs in local communities and growing their economy.”