WASHINGTON – Today, on Earth Day, U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) hosted “Investing in a Sustainable Future – Climate Finance in Emerging Markets.” The virtual event celebrated DFC’s most innovative transactions in sustainability, highlighting the breadth of financial tools DFC is bringing to bear against the climate crisis. President Biden identified climate finance as an essential tool to advance climate mitigation and adaptation around the world at last year’s Leaders Summit on Climate. Today's event sought to build new partnerships with more than 200 attendees across the private sector, ranging from capital markets to impact investors, corporate strategic partners, and key stakeholders from the NGO community, to advance DFC’s climate work.
CEO Scott Nathan welcomed the participants and emphasized that Earth Day serves as a call to action for DFC to mobilize private sector investment in emerging markets. The event also featured a conversation with DFC Chief Climate Officer Jake Levine and Carol Browner, former Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, about the role of government and public finance in catalyzing private investment.
“Expanding DFC’s partnerships with innovative companies, investors, and civil society stakeholders helps DFC to unlock the power and scale of the private sector, which is critical to tackling the climate crisis,” said Jake Levine, DFC Chief Climate Officer. “DFC’s success in mobilizing climate finance for developing countries will depend on its ability to de-risk markets so that private sector leaders can crowd into deals, funds, platforms, and projects at scale.”
DFC investment officers and clients presented case studies of exceptional collaborations that are addressing climate change and related development challenges, including:
- Enabling marine conservation and debt relief in Belize: DFC political risk insurance supported a $364 million Blue Bond for Marine Conservation in Belize. DFC’s insurance enabled sovereign debt relief and helped create funding for projects in support of the Government of Belize’s commitment to protect 30 percent of its marine and coastal areas. These projects advance ocean protection, fisheries management, and climate adaptation and mitigation.
- Diversifying the solar energy supply chain: An up to $500 million loan for First Solar, Inc., the largest American solar manufacturing company, is supporting the company’s vertically integrated photovoltaic (PV) solar module manufacturing facility in Tamil Nadu, India, an important diversification of global supply chains for the solar sector.
- Improving Rural Livelihoods through sustainable agriculture in Latin America, Africa, and Southeast Asia: A $35 million investment in support of Root Capital, a nonprofit social lender headquartered in Massachusetts that offers farmers around the world a path to prosperity. Root Capital provides financing to small and growing agricultural businesses in Latin America, sub-Saharan Africa, and Southeast Asia. This financing will help break the cycle of rural poverty, support climate adaptation, and strengthen the agriculture value chain through sustainable innovations.
- Promoting sustainable infrastructure in Africa: Debt financing of up to $25 million to the Meridiam Africa Infrastructure Fund is enabling the fund to invest in a variety of infrastructure projects with a focus on sustainability. Meridiam’s investments include solar energy and major public transit electrification projects in Senegal and other countries in Africa, helping those countries grow and diversify their energy supply and provide clean transportation.
DFC investment teams provided an overview of the Corporation’s multifaceted investment tools, including loans, political risk insurance, equity, and technical assistance. These products are available to commercially viable projects involving private sector investment. Finally, a panel of representatives from other U.S. government agencies addressed how their organizations support private sector investment in the areas of climate and environment.
DFC continues to work to identify private sector opportunities for climate projects that support the clean energy transition, protect and expand natural climate solutions, and invest in adaptation and resilience.
U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) partners with the private sector to finance solutions to the most critical challenges facing the developing world today. We invest across sectors including energy, healthcare, critical infrastructure, and technology. DFC also provides financing for small businesses and women entrepreneurs in order to create jobs in emerging markets. DFC investments adhere to high standards and respect the environment, human rights, and worker rights.