20 November 2017

  • Projects
  • Germany

Finance in Motion takes active role at COP23 in Bonn

It has been two years since the adoption of the historic Paris Agreement on climate change. From November 6-17, 2017, leaders from government, business, science, and civil society met in Bonn for the 2017 UN Climate Change Conference – or COP23 – to hammer out plans for implementing these ambitious goals. As a leading advisor of several investment funds in green finance, we at Finance in Motion took an active role in numerous side events.

Hanna Skelly, Director at Finance in Motion, started off on November 7 in a panel discussion on the “Trillion Trees” partnership – a collaboration between WWF UK, the Wildlife Conservation Society, and Birdlife International aiming to “grow the right trees in the right places” (click here for more information). Hanna was the only panelist from the private sector; she was joined by representatives from the project partners as well as the first target countries, Colombia and Tanzania. Vigorous discussion took place with the audience of NGO representatives, underscoring the close cooperation necessary between various sectors in order to match resources with opportunities. 

Emerging instruments were the focus of an event on climate mitigation in agriculture two days later, where Gabriela Weber de Morais, Associate for Environmental and Social Compliance & Management at Finance in Motion, presented the eco.business Fund’s approach to financing sustainable cattle farming. A representative from the Green Climate Fund (GCF) also pointed out how this approach resonates with the GCF’s own interests. The audience asked about possibilities for the eco.business Fund to finance biodigestors, agropastoral systems and agroforestry schemes, and afterward, participants from various sectors approached Gabriela individually to learn more and discuss potential synergies.

Meanwhile, Finance in Motion Managing Director Elvira Lefting spoke to a full house at the Luxembourg-EIB pavilion on the topic “From Billions to Trillions – Bottlenecks in the Supply of Capital and Demand for Investable Projects.” There was ample time for her to present Finance in Motion’s approach towards green finance over the course of the two-hour panel, alongside colleagues from UNEP FI, Sail Ventures, and others.

On November 14, Elvira presented at a Facebook Live session together with the EIB’s Head of Climate Change and Environment division on mobilizing private investments through innovative finance. “The way to do it is to […] design a structure that can be understood and assessed by private sectors. So you have to have very proper governance, have a very clearly defined asset class […] but you also have to have very powerful tools at hand. We are a highly disciplined, very qualified, specialized fund manager,” she explained. “We go into capacity building, we train energy auditors. We look at the entire ecosystem of a given country to ensure that energy efficiency is not only talked about, but that it actually happens.” Check out the entire video on the EIB’s Facebook page

Elvira also spoke on a plenary panel at the World Climate Summit. There, she discussed opportunities in the New Climate Economy with other high-level representatives from the CDP, OECD, Danfoss, SouthPole Group, and the Carbon Trust. 

The highlight of Finance in Motion’s presence at the conference was a dinner hosted within walking distance of the COP venue on Tuesday, November 14. The successful event brought together over 40 green finance champions from donor agencies, international financial institutions, institutional investors, research centers and NGOs. Award-winning nature photographer Jasper Doest wowed the guests with his fascinating images, emphasizing the importance of nature conservation. Finance in Motion’s Managing Directors also took the opportunity to present “Delivering Green Finance,” our first discussion paper on green finance – which we define as investments that recognize the importance and value of the environment and its natural capital, reduce environmental risks, and boost ecological integrity. Please see our press release for more information on Delivering Green Finance.

But things weren’t over yet: On Thursday, November 16, Elvira was back to the Luxembourg-EIB pavilion, where the newly launched Luxembourg-EIB Climate Finance Platform announced its very first investment: EUR 5 million in the Green for Growth Fund. This is a significant investment for Luxembourg, and a testimony to the valuable cooperation we have developed with both Luxembourg and the EIB.

The efforts of the Finance in Motion team at the 2017 UN Climate Change Conference were well worth it. We were able to seize this unprecedented opportunity to present our mission and engage with a broad range of likeminded colleagues, making contact with valuable potential partners and participating in exchange on both an individual and a community level. Many thanks to all who organized, presented, and supported this endeavor!