Innovative and bankable climate projects, enabling government policies, and inclusive finance are critical components for the world to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement. These were the key takeaways from an energizing discussion at the Climate Finance Forum – a 2021 P4G Seoul Summit Pre-event co-hosted by P4G and the Republic of Korea Ministry of Economy and Finance on April 13. The discussion focused on public and private sector solutions to catalyze and scale green projects. Speakers shared the role P4G could play in this global agenda and the importance of the P4G Summit as a stepping stone to COP26.
The forum kicked off with opening remarks from Eog-weon Lee, Vice Minister of Economy and Finance, Republic of Korea who outlined Korea’s proactive actions to support inclusive climate financing and collaborate with international actors via its policies and the upcoming P4G Summit. Ian de Cruz, Global Director, P4G, shared P4G’s “Investing in Impact” approach and how the platform is bridging the gap between development and investment agendas.
Alfonso Marcia Gora, Vice President for Asia and Pacific, International Finance Corporation (IFC), laid out the high stakes involved for all with only nine years or “less than two average business cycles” to tackle climate change. He emphasized the need for collaborative climate action across public and private sectors and said, “Korea and P4G are key for bringing together businesses, governments and civil society organizations in innovative public-private partnerships that can help catalyze private investments."
The event included two panel discussions, the first centered on global climate policy trends and the second on climate financing and investment strategies.
Highlighting the business case for doubling down on renewable energy, Einar Jensen and Simon Smith, the Danish and British Ambassadors to the Republic of Korea respectively, urged stakeholders to set the right example at COP26. As Ambassador Smith remarked, “It’s about more action and about action now.” Yeon-chul Yoo, Ambassador for Climate Change, Republic of Korea and P4G Board member spoke about the complementary roles of governments and the private sector to accelerate change through guidelines set by the regulators to bolster investor confidence.
Helen Mountford, Vice President, Climate and Economics, World Resources Institute, shared that the latest shift of countries around the world setting net zero targets sends strong policy signals to guide businesses and investors. She noted P4G’s role as a global platform that identified these opportunities and aligned them with public-private financing needed to unlock them. Mohan Vivekanandan, Group Executive, Development Bank of Southern Africa conveyed the need for a clear government policy that allows the replication of these innovative ideas across other African countries.
Jean-Christophe Donnellier, French Co-chair, GCF Board spoke about the common challenge facing all countries to connect global finance with availability. He shared that platforms like P4G are key to facilitate the dialogue and partnership between finance and the local business opportunities.
During the second panel, Sarbinder Singh, Director of Investments, P4G moderated a discussion with financial institutions and the private sector on strategies to fill the financing gap and accelerate upstream investment or work closer to manufacturing processes.
“If we develop bespoke solutions, we’re going to run out of time,” said Julia Prescot, Co-founder and Chief Strategy Officer, Meridiam, and P4G Board member. Prescot stressed the need to make projects investable and replicable at a very early stage. She recognized the role P4G played in advancing these replicable models and mentioned that P4G “can unlock the key for additional institutional investment.”
Allard Nooy, CEO, InfraCo Asia outlined the barriers to bankability and the need to create an appetite from new funders behind P4G by using its proven case studies to demonstrate how system change can work. Torben Huss, CEO, Investment Fund for Developing Countries (IFU) echoed Nooy’s sentiments of the challenge mobilizing investments and proposed combining public sector guarantees with private sector financing to deliver a win-win solution. He said, “P4G is a strong instrument to de-risk project development in upstream projects.”
Other speakers like Bok Kyu Kim, Executive Director of the Korea Development Bank (KDB) spoke about the bank’s smart financing solutions for early stage start-ups, and Man Yeon Choi of Blackrock Korea highlighted the positive trends of investors backing sustainable investing. Shinta Kamdani, CEO, Sintesa Group and P4G National Platform Co-Chair in Indonesia, underscored the need for a framework for collaboration between government and the private sector.
The event provided a sharp look at tangible strategies for governments and the private sector to accelerate inclusive finance and innovation in the lead up to the P4G Summit. The approach fits at the core of P4G’s work and as Ambassador Yoo said, “"This is the P4G spirit which will bridge the gap between development and investment."
Other speakers included Hyoeun Jenny Kim, Deputy Director-General of the Global Green Growth Institute; Yannick Glemarec, Executive Director, GCF; Dr. Oyun Sanjaasuren, Director of External Affair, GCF; Professor Tae Yong Jung, Professor Yonsei University; and Eric Kim, Country Lead, Macquarie Korea.
The 2021 P4G Seoul Summit is scheduled from May 30 – 31. Visit the Summit website for more information on the program and participation details.
Republic of Korea