Net Zero Partnerships are Catalyzing Investment in Developing Countries


As part of the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26), P4G, Denmark and the Republic of Korea hosted an event emphasizing tangible solutions that are driving change on the ground to turn commitments into solutions. Moderated by P4G Global Director Ian de Cruz, the event featured high-level speakers who underscored P4G’s role in accelerating market-based partnerships in developing countries that contribute to delivering a greener, more inclusive future.  

Hyeoun Jenny Kim, Climate Ambassador and Deputy Minister for Climate Change, Republic of Korea, opened the event by sharing how the 2021 P4G Seoul Summit in May served as a stepping stone to this pivotal moment at COP26. Ambassador Kim outlined how the P4G Summit significantly contributed to Korea’s strategy of net zero by 2050 and its nationally determined contribution (NDC) to reduce emissions 40% by 2030. On a global level, the Seoul Declaration enabled the world’s two largest emitters, the US and China, to join hands with other countries to stop financing fossil fuels. Locally, the Summit shifted the perspective of many key stakeholders in Korea, especially businesses which have since announced commitments to reduce emissions. “The P4G Summit made Korea’s ambitious commitments possible,” Ambassador Kim said. 

Flemming Moller Mortensen, Minister for Development Cooperation, Denmark, emphasized the need for collaboration to fight climate change. Partnerships at the heart of P4G offer an actionable opportunity to accelerate green investments and innovative solutions centered on developing countries’ priorities. “Act now for our green future together, so we can create jobs, education and hope for young people in developing countries,” Minister Mortensen said.  

Building on the message of a better future, Kitty van der Heijden, Director General for International Cooperation, Netherlands noted the need to protect those who have contributed the least but remain the most susceptible to climate change. The Netherlands sees P4G as a delivery mechanism that can rapidly get solutions to scale in the eight years left to keep 1.5 degrees in reach. Van der Heijden emphasized that P4G leverages the power of diverse partnerships, urging more countries to fund and support its efforts for a greener future. “The sky is the limit. Be inspired today and know that we have to set high commitments here to deliver for the people who deserve it,” van der Heijden said. 

As future host of the 2023 P4G Summit, Colombia has been inspired by P4G’s stewardship and looks forward to the continued opportunity to deliver results, Vice Minister of the Environment, Nicolas Galarza shared. Despite being a minor emitter globally, Colombia has committed to reduce emissions by 51% and has invested above average for Latin America in green finance and green recovery. As a leading seller of electric vehicles in Latin America, Colombia has also shifted from only 0.2% of the power grid to 14% being powered by renewable energy. Galarza highlighted how Colombia hopes to lead by example but they can only do so through support and partnerships, like those with P4G, underscoring the need to scale this up with new countries, donors and partnerships.  

Simon Sharpe, UK Director for Energy, Transport and Nature, UK COP26 Unit shared how the event was a testament to what a strong partnership P4G is. In identifying its priorities, the COP26 team underscored the enormous need to go massively faster – and how partnership and collaboration have a central role to play in that rapid transition. To do so practically, countries need to implement the right policies to reduce costs and level the playing field so the global market prioritizes sustainable products.  

The event also had a celebratory section recognizing P4G’s 2021 State-of-the-Art Awards. Minister Mortensen announced the Partnership of the YearClosing the Loop on Textile Waste in Kenya. The partnership was recognized for its transformative approach to recycling 100,000 kg of fabric waste, creating jobs and significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Kevin Thiong’o, Venture Builder, Enviu and partnership lead shared their appreciation for the award and its validation of the circular model, noting how they can collaborate with P4G’s network to build sector-wide models that tackle textile waste. 

Shifting to a panel discussion with representatives from P4G’s partner countries, Dr. Julius Muia, Principal Secretary, Ministry of Finance, Kenya shared how COP26’s themes on mitigation, adaptation and finance bring to life what P4G is about. With Kenya’s ambitious NDC and Vision 2030 goals, P4G partnerships like Energise Africa and Sustainable Special Economic Zones (SSEZ) have helped progress the development agenda in priority sectors like energy and manufacturing. “We see P4G as a very good ecosystem that enables us to tap into international capital and expertise,” Dr. Muia said. 

Fekadu Beyene, Commissioner, Environment Forest & Climate Change Commission, Ethiopia shared Ethiopia’s progress in implementing its Climate Resilient Green Economy strategy and updated NDC, where P4G is accelerating 10 partnerships in the country. Beyene noted how P4G has been key in bringing together the private sector and civil society where the government was lacking. Additionally, P4G partnerships support key development priorities in terms of capital and innovative ideas,  including policy recommendations and action. “We are learning and moving in the right direction but we also ask you all to strengthen engagement and support for green development,” Beyene urged. 

In Bangladesh, P4G's support is accelerating a green transition, said Shahriar Alam, State Minister, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Bangladesh. He highlighted the Circular Fashion Partnership, which aligns with Bangladesh’s commitment to a circular economy by transforming the fashion system. Through the partnership, manufacturers can benefit with a fair market value for textile waste and increase recycling capacity. This will help Bangladesh deal with stockpiles and economic shocks from COVID-19 to build back better. 

Representing the State-of-the-Art sector winner for energy CFI2030 Jeju, Yoon Hyongseok, Director General, Future Strategy Bureau, Jeju Special Self-Governing Province shared Jeju’s path to becoming a carbon-free island by 2030. He noted how they’ve expanded solar and wind power, encouraged smart and green mobility, and created an energy efficient grid. They hope other cities will join in similar efforts and mentioned that P4G can play a key role in scaling these solutions. 

Ani Dasgupta, President and CEO, World Resources Institute reinforced how P4G is delivering on commitments by developing solutions in partner countries. With a $1.5 trillion gap to achieve a green economy, the private sector needs to work with the public sector to solve this problem. P4G finds these solutions to build local systems. “Without this, we’re not going to get the outcome we need,” Dasgupta said. 

Nikole Burroughs, Deputy Assistant Administrator, US Agency for International Development (USAID) closed the session by sharing USAID’s ambitious new targets to help people and the planet. Burroughs called for a paradigm shift where private sector investors back sustainable development, and multinational corporations and governments move from commitments to action. This provides an opportunity to support innovations with investments to pave the way for a more resilient and just world.  

Watch the full session here.