Unlocking capital for climate action

GCF conference brings together key investors to boost private climate investment

  • Article type Press release
  • Publication date 16 Sep 2022

The fifth annual GCF Private Investment for Climate Conference (GPIC) has wrapped up in Incheon, Republic of Korea, with leading figures from the public and private sectors pledging to work in partnership to find innovative ways of unlocking capital for climate action.

The two-day event took place from September 15-16 and heard from Chief Executives and business leaders, entrepreneurs, institutional funders, donors, technology providers and many others, each with a commitment to removing investment barriers to take advantage of climate investment opportunities in developing countries.

The conference tackled a wide range of issues, each designed to advance knowledge and forge partnerships to stimulate private sector investment, which is critical to global climate action and to mobilising the trillions of dollars needed for climate projects in developing countries. 

The first day focused on systemic issues including how to enable a green investment environment; how to catalyse climate innovation; de-risking private capital at scale for mitigation and adaptation and greening the financial system. 

Day two saw sessions on investing in sustainable oceans and nature-based solutions; clean energy investments; climate resilient infrastructure and food security.

A common theme was partnership – how investors, companies, entrepreneurs, multinationals and the public sector can work together to drive investment for large scale climate action.

Addressing the opening session on Thursday September 15, GCF Executive Director Yannick Glemarec highlighted GCF’s lynchpin role in unlocking private investment, saying “Through transformational planning, catalysing innovation, de-risking early investment and greening finance, GCF is using our resources to de-risk massive climate investment from the private sector.”

He also appealed to investors in the audience, saying “GCF is a partnership organisation, which has made us the hub of the climate finance architecture. Our resources are limited, but by using them effectively we can mobilise finance from partners at the scale we need for transformative change.”

Soji Omisore, Deputy Director of GCF’s Private Sector Facility said, “Our focus here is to gain new insights and understand the scale of climate investment opportunities. We need to focus on how we do this together, through connections, collaborations and partnerships, that is what GPIC is about.”

“The partnership spirit is what we need to focus on and embrace, so that together we can leverage and convene our collective strengths, resources and ambitions to drive climate action goals,” he added.

Ministerial speakers at GPIC included Christopher Coye, Minister of State in the Belize Ministry of Finance, Economic Development and Investment; John Ampontuah Kumah, Ghana’s Deputy Minister of Finance and Cecilia Nicolini, State Secretary of Climate Change for the Republic of Argentina. 

Secretary Nicolini told the audience, “The time to choose our future is now. It is a matter of both environmental urgency and economic common sense.  These challenges are great, but the opportunities are greater.”

The event also heard from a wide range of business leaders, CEOs and investors.

Kamran Khan, Managing Director and Head of Environmental and Social Governance (ESG) for Asia Pacific at Deutsche Bank AG addressed the growing ESG market, saying “We need to implement ESG policies into the corporate market to make them better. It’s not just about going green. It’s about a lot more.”

“Private capital leverage is essential to success,” he added.

Leong Wai Leng, Managing Director and Head of Asia Pacific at CDPQ said, “There’s a real gap in financing. Over the past 20 years, the private sector has really surpassed the public sector in terms of strength and asset management, so we must mobilise the private sector because without them, we wouldn’t be able to do it.”

Torsten Thiele, the Founder of the Global Ocean Trust spoke about the importance of investing in the sustainable blue economy and aligning blue and green investments. 

“Nature is good at dealing with change, finding solutions that work with nature is a way of reducing the risk associated with projects,” he said.

GPIC also featured a marketplace session, allowing entrepreneurs, business owners and project developers to present climate innovations to smaller groups of investors, underscoring the conference’s focus on action and on unlocking capital for climate action and creating bankable climate investments.

Partnership was also a common theme at the Global Programming Conference (GPC).  Held before GPIC, GPC convened representatives from countries, accredited entities, the public and private sectors and delivery partners to discuss GCF programming, which will inform ongoing investment planning and strategic programming priorities for GCF’s second replenishment period (2024-2027).

Both events reiterated the collective responsibility and strength of partnerships to shape GCF’s work in support of climate action.

About GCF’s Private Sector Facility:

GCF’s Private Sector Facility plays a leading role in bringing the public and private sectors together to find innovative ways of mobilising finance at scale to achieve the paradigm shift needed to promote low emission, climate resilient development. 

GCF private sector portfolio currently stands at USD 3.7 billion, (USD 13.1 billion including cofinancing), across 42 projects, benefiting over 137 million people and avoiding over 727 million tonnes of Green House Gasses.

GCF’s private sector strategy focuses on four key areas.

  • Promoting a conducive investment environment for combined climate and economic growth activities.
  • Accelerating innovation for business models, financial instruments and climate technologies.
  • De-risking market-creating investments to crowd in private climate finance.
  • Strengthening domestic and regional financial institutions to scale up private climate finance.

GCF in Brief: Private Sector Financing provides more details about GCF’s private sector portfolio.

With nearly USD 11 billion in approved climate funding and a total portfolio of over USD 40 billion, GCF is the world’s largest multilateral climate fund mandated to support developing countries to raise and realise their climate ambitions.