FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Tuesday November 17, 2015

CONTACT: Martin Hall: +1 202 4585540 / mhall3@worldbank.org

Washington, D.C. (November 16, 2015)—As the world gets ready for the UN climate summit in Paris, France later this month, the governing bodies of the $8.1 billion Climate Investment Funds (CIF) got down to business last week endorsing $205 million (USD) to support renewable energy expansion in some of the poorest countries of the world—Bangladesh, Mongolia, Rwanda, and Uganda—to increase electricity access, enhance energy security, reduce poverty, and mitigate climate change. This brings the CIF’s total allocations for renewable energy development in 40 countries to over $5 billion.

The CIF semi-annual Trust Fund Committees and Sub-Committees Meetings, which took place in Washington, D.C. from November 9-12, also took stock of CIF achievements in catalyzing clean technology transformations and addressed improvements to increase flexibility and innovative use of precious funding for climate action. The meetings shined a direct light on the urgent need for increased levels of financing to maintain momentum and increase support to developing countries in their fights against climate change.

Bandladesh endorsement team

$205 million for cleaner, more reliable energy in four low income countries

Bangladesh, Mongolia, Rwanda, and Uganda are all celebrating the endorsement of their investment plans under the Scaling Up Renewable Energy in Low Income Countries Program (SREP), a $796 million funding window of the CIF that works to demonstrate the economic, social, and environmental viability of renewable energy in 27 low income countries. Each plan is uniquely focused on the countries’ specific circumstances and builds upon national plans and priorities. 

“Far too many people in the world do not have access to reliable, affordable energy.  This means no heat for their homes and no light for their schools.  SREP funding will help tackle this, offer opportunities for development and improve the enabling environment conditions to unlock and systematically scale-up private investments,” stated Mafalda Duarte, CIF Program Manager.

Building on CIF Achievements

These four countries, as well as other CIF countries and the wider global community, can look to the CIF’s $5.3 billion Clean Technology Fund (CTF) for examples of successful practices on financing low carbon technologies to expand markets for renewable energy, energy efficiency, and clean transport. The 2015 CTF Results Report, launched last week during the CIF meetings, shows that the CTF impact is transformational and global.

In total, the CTF has achieved 20 mtCO2e in emission reductions, equivalent to taking 4.5 million cars off the road or shutting down six coal-fired power plants.
 
The CTF has also attracted over $4 billion in co-financing from government, bilateral sources, and the private sector. While public resources can bridge viability gaps and cover risks that private actors are unable or unwilling to bear, the private sector can bring the financial flows and innovation required for further scaling up. 
 
CTF projects are also contributing to energy savings of over 3,900 GWh per year with most of the projects situated in the Europe and Central Asia region. This is roughly equivalent to taking over half a million passenger vehicles off the road.
 
Geothermal and concentrated solar power (CSP) are growing parts of the CIF portfolio, and CIF investments are expected to lead to more than one-quarter of the current global installed capacity for both technologies.

“When stakeholders see results like this, the risk perception is lowered and the money begins to flow into the clean technology sector. We in the public sector must do our part to attract the private sector and drive investment. We have to be innovative and strategic to get the most out of precious public resources,” explained Mafalda Duarte, CIF Program Manager.

Uganda endorsment team

Operational innovation was at the forefront of discussion during the CTF Trust Fund Committee Meeting last week, which explored options to bridge a looming funding gap and bring new flexibility to the CTF and alternative financing models to increase resource availability.  

“This funding gap threatens some recipient countries’ momentum, but it also presents an opportunity to donors to demonstrate a shared ambition in achieving a low carbon future. The CTF—and the CIF as a whole—is tried, tested and trusted, and delivering results at scale,” stated Duarte.

Although the climate finance landscape has evolved since the CIF was created in 2008, the CIF remains the only climate finance instrument delivering concessional finance at scale with recognized results, and the only one with the infrastructure and experience needed to continue the momentum while other funds ramp up. With 300 projects in the pipeline and many more expected as new investment plans are developed, the CIF is driving transformational change across sectors and technologies at the country and global levels while mobilizing significant co- financing—an expected USD 55 billion—for much-needed investments in mitigation and adaptation.

After seven years on the job, the CIF offers concrete results and useful insights for the next climate-change conference in Paris. Negotiators are expected to arrive at a new global strategy for combating climate change, and CIF experience can serve as a blueprint for future climate financing efforts.

Rwanda endorsement team