World Bank collaborates with finance leaders to boost climate investment

on Jun 24, 2024
  • World Bank partners with 15 finance leaders to boost climate investment in emerging economies.
  • Private Sector Investment Lab focuses on creating securitizable asset classes for climate projects.
  • Initiative aims to overcome regulatory constraints and ensure attractive returns for investors.

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The World Bank is partnering with a group of 15 finance leaders to reduce the risk associated with investing in climate projects in emerging economies. This initiative aims to attract private capital for emission reduction efforts and climate adaptation in these regions.

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Creation of the Private Sector Investment Lab

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The Private Sector Investment Lab (PSIL) was launched in June under the World Bank’s auspices. The lab includes prominent figures such as Larry Fink, CEO of BlackRock Inc., Thomas Buberl, CEO of AXA SA, and Noel Quinn, CEO of HSBC Plc.

The PSIL is focused on developing models that allow large investors to finance significant climate projects by creating a securitizable asset class attractive to institutional investors like pension funds.

Objectives and strategies

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The PSIL is dedicated to implementing specific strategies to mobilise the vast sums of money needed to assist developing countries in transitioning to clean energy and adapting to climate change.

Despite previous challenges, the World Bank has stepped up its efforts by introducing new financial mechanisms and strategies.

These include offering financial guarantees, which are considered the most efficient and commonly used forms of credit support. The group is examining first-loss and whole-portfolio guarantees to simplify the process and make it more accessible across various markets.

Challenges and regulatory constraints

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Mark Carney, United Nations Special Envoy for Climate Action and Finance and PSIL co-chair, highlighted the regulatory constraints banks face under post-2008 financial crisis rules. These constraints can hinder the scaling of climate finance in riskier parts of the world.

Consequently, the PSIL is also exploring the capital treatment of guarantees by regulators and supervisors to facilitate greater private investment.

Ajay Banga, the World Bank’s president, emphasised the importance of developing efficient public-private partnerships to scale financing.

He noted that multilateral development banks and governments alone do not have sufficient funds to address climate challenges on the required scale.

Importance of returns for investors

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While the initiative aims to mobilise trillions of dollars in private finance, ensuring a decent return on investment is crucial.

Shemara Wikramanayake, CEO of Macquarie, underscored the necessity of providing adequate returns for investors to fulfil their fiduciary duties.

This focus on returns is essential to attract and sustain private investment in climate projects.

The collaboration between the World Bank and leading finance executives through the PSIL represents a significant step towards mobilising private capital for climate action in emerging economies.

By creating innovative financial products and addressing regulatory challenges, the initiative aims to make climate investments more attractive and accessible to institutional investors, ultimately driving substantial progress in global climate efforts.

Economic World