Pre-event to 2021 P4G Seoul Summit Reinforces U.S. Role in Scaling Market-based Solutions in Developing Countries through P4G


“We know what has to be done and we have a clear path on how we deliver that for a better world,” remarked Jonathan Pershing, Senior Advisor to the Special Presidential Envoy for Climate, U.S., to kick off the webinar “Delivering Climate Ambition in Developing Countries Through P4G” on May 14, 2021.

A pre-event to the 2021 P4G Seoul Summit, the discussion was jointly hosted by Embassy of the Republic of Korea, the Embassy of Denmark, and the World Resources Institute. The webinar focused on how the U.S. can finance, incubate and scale innovative market-based solutions in developing countries. The event highlighted P4G’s high-impact partnerships and the P4G Summit’s role in being a stepping stone to COP26. The Summit builds off the momentum created by events intended to catalyze climate action including the Climate Adaptation Summit in January and the U.S. Leaders Summit on Climate in April.

H.E. Lee Soo-Hyuck, Ambassador of the Republic of Korea to the U.S. and H.E. Lone Dencker Wisborg, Ambassador of Denmark to the U.S opened the session by explaining how the P4G Summit will contribute to global efforts to build back better and greener from the COVID-19 crisis. The Ambassadors both recognized the integral role that innovative public-private partnerships will play in providing the financial models needed to fight climate change.

Jonathan Pershing offered keynote remarks outlining the U.S.’s plans to enhance global cooperation for a zero-emissions world by 2050. Pershing focused on the need to increase investment in climate solutions, wherein public finance is not enough. Holistic solutions must also leverage private capital to mobilize the trillions of dollars needed to shift to a green and clean world future. Pershing also framed the P4G Summit as part of a milestone year building momentum through these global events that continue to raise the bar.

Ambassador Yeonchul Yoo, Ambassador for Climate Change, Republic of Korea shared Korea’s plans for the Summit centered around the theme of an inclusive green recovery for climate neutrality. As the first multilateral environmental summit hosted by Korea, the event will urge key leaders to build on commitments and cooperation on climate action. “We value P4G because unlike other international bodies, P4G is an inclusive multilateral platform that brings governments, business and civil society together to prompt all stakeholders to deliver results,” Yoo said.

John Murton, UK COP26 Special Enjoy, outlined the UK’s four main goals for COP 26, including mobilizing public and private finance and accelerating partnerships, like those led by P4G. Murton noted that, “P4G presents a significant opportunity to advance all of these agendas, as we hope countries will join us and make clear commitments to speed the transition.”

Ian de Cruz, Global Director, P4G, presented P4G’s approach and pipeline of partnerships relevant to the U.S. climate priorities, noting that “The U.S. joining P4G’s ecosystem would be terrific in sharing its expertise in developing countries to deliver solutions that are self-sustaining and market-based.” Leaders of P4G’s high impact partnerships, including Ana Hajduka, CEO, Africa GreenCo, and Marcel Regis, President, Bavaria Brewery shared their transformative models and the key role P4G has played in accelerating their work.

Manish Bapna, President and CEO (Interim), WRI moderated the event including a panel discussion about what the U.S. can do to step up climate finance. Panelists included Karin Finkelston, Vice President of Partnerships, Communications, and Outreach, International Finance Corporation (IFC) and P4G Board member; Durreen Shahnaz, Founder & CEO, Impact Investment Exchange, a lead partner in P4G’s Women’s Livelihood Bond Partnership; and Bryan Wisk, Chief Investment Officer, Asymmetric Return Capital (ARC) Investments and partner in P4G’s ZEBRA partnership.

Finkelston shared the U.S.’s key role in working with IFC to facilitate policy reforms that create a pipeline of bankable projects, noting that “P4G is actually bridging that role by showing how to incubate and pilot private sector solutions.” Wisk highlighted the challenge and opportunity in finding creative ways to finance climate action that P4G addresses by accelerating investable models. Shahnaz urged climate investment to consider the intersection with gender equality to ensure the creation of solutions that deliver inclusive social and environmental returns in addition to financial ones. The panelists emphasized the need to build inclusivity into these projects from the beginning, which P4G plays a key role in delivering on.

Tomas Anker Christensen, Danish Climate Ambassador, closed the event by reinforcing previous speakers’ comments on P4G’s importance in bringing together multistakeholder coalitions to build momentum. As he remarked on the pivotal role of the P4G Summit in the global arena, Christensen said “We hope the P4G Summit will be a place to enhance ambitious climate actions and pick up a roadmap for delivering on further commitments.”

Watch the webinar here.