Climate change

COP21 session - Green investment banks: Leveraging innovative public finance to scale up low-carbon investment

7 Dec. 2015
15:15 - 16:45
Paris-Le Bourget
Side event

  • Location: Conference Centre - Blue Zone - Delegations Area - Hall 3 - Pavilion 7

This event described the relatively new phenomenon of publicly-capitalised green investment banks and examines why public green investment banks are being created and how they are mobilising private investment.

Investment is growing in renewable energy and energy efficiency, but not quickly enough to get the world on track to achieve zero net greenhouse gas emissions globally by the end of this century. Governments need to find ways to make efficient use of available public funding to mobilise much larger pools of private capital. To leverage the impact of relatively limited public resources, 13 national and sub-national governments have created public green investment banks (GIBs) and GIB-like entities (as of December 2015).

Governments are tailoring their GIBs based on their unique national and local contexts. GIBs and GIB-like entities have diverse rationales and goals including meeting ambitious emissions targets, supporting local community development, lowering energy costs, developing green technology markets, creating jobs and lowering the cost of capital.

GIBs are relevant for both developed countries and emerging economies as a tool to help meet domestic targets for emission reductions, technology and infrastructure deployment, and green investment. The creation of a GIB can send a signal to the marketplace and other countries that a country or region is seeking to become a leader in scaling up private low-carbon investment.

Questions considered:

  • How are GIBs and GIB-like entities using available public resources to mobilise private investment in domestic low-carbon, climate-resilient infrastructure? Where and why are they being created? What approaches do they use? How are they performing?
  • How are GIBs contributing to scaling up green investment in both developed and emerging economies, and meeting fast-growing investment needs for energy-efficient buildings in cities?
  • How do GIBs at the national and sub-national level relate to other public financial institutions and broader efforts to scale up private climate finance? In what ways can they contribute to the domestic and international climate finance mobilisation targets for 2020 and the longer-term 2-degree objective?

The OECD Secretariat would like to thank Bloomberg for supporting the OECD’s work on green investment banks; and would also like to thank the Japanese Ministry of Finance for their support for the activities of the Environment Directorate on Public Policies for Facilitating Green Long-Term Infrastructure Investment.

Key speakers

  • Chair: Simon Upton, Director, Environment Directorate, OECD
  • Facilitator: Robert Youngman, Environment Directorate, OECD
  • Dan Firger, Environment Programme, Bloomberg Philanthropies
  • Kate Eklin, Development Centre, OECD
  • Dan Esty, Director, Yale Center for Environmental Law and Policy, Yale Law School; former Commissioner of Connecticut’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, initiator of Connecticut’s first-in-the-nation Green Bank
  • Gavin Templeton, Head of Sustainable Finance, UK Green Investment Bank
  • Takejiro Sueyoshi, CEO, Green Finance Organisation, Japan
  • Syed Ahmad Syed Mustafa, Vice President Green Growth, GreenTech, Malaysia
  • Abyd Karmali, Bank of America
  • Samy Ben-Jaafar, Director of Private Sector Facility, Green Climate Fund
  • Rick Duke, Deputy Director, White House Office of Energy and Climate Change
Closing remarks by Jonathan Pershing, Principal Deputy Director of the Office of Energy Policy and systems Analysis, U.S. Department of Energy




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