When it comes to climate action, finance remains one of the biggest challenges. One has access to technology, one knows which green policies to apply, but finance has been the slowest to come to the table. This is particularly true for sustainable infrastructure, where projects conceived and implemented at the sub-national level, typically of mid-size (between US $ 5 to 75 million in construction costs), offer a unique opportunity to maximize sustainable development benefits but remain least-served by existing funding development vehicles. Accelerating “transaction” is an important dimension of our value chain approach. Here, our work includes identifying and developing pipelines of bankable projects as well as to help creating dedicated funds, such as the Sub national Climate Fund Africa (with Swiss Impact Asset Manager, BlueOrchard Finance) or the R20 Green Fund for Women – led by R20 Paris – to invest in them.
Arnold Schwarzenegger often says, “you can have the best of ideas, but if you don’t know how to communicate it, you have nothing”. Communication, and making sure innovative solutions, policies, and best practice projects from cities, regions and businesses that are working to accelerate climate action can be heard and showcased, is another important dimension of our work. The R20 AUSTRIAN WORLD SUMMIT, organized every year by R20 Austria & EU provides such platform and is the perfect embodiment of the way communication can foster real action.
The progress made on both “transaction” and communication in 2018 shows there is a growing interest for innovative approaches and financial mechanisms that can accelerate project implementation at the sub-national level. That is a very encouraging signal for real bottom-up climate action.