COP17: UNFCCC side event on financing climate action at the subnational level

8 December 2011

DURBAN: The Climate Group and nrg4SD hosted a UNFCCC side event at COP17 with leading sub-national governments and businesses to showcase how domestic climate initiatives are being financed at sub-national level, and what is needed from international financing mechanisms at this level in the future.

The first session featured presentations on financing climate action and specific low carbon initiatives from developed and developing sub-national governments, which was followed by interventions directly from the finance sector.

The second session debated the scope and conditions for using carbon funds at sub-national level, such as how to set up innovative financial models with the support of private investors.

Speakers included: Dominique Ramard, Vice-President for the Environment and Energy, Brittany, Stewart Stevenson, Minister for Environment and Climate Change, Scotland, Terry Lake, Minister for Environment, British Columbia, Dominique Perrin advisor to the Minister for Environment, Spatial Planning and Mobility, Wallonia, Marta Marín, Government Delegate to the EU, Basque Country, Nelson Bulgalho, Vice President of CETESB (Environment Agency), São Paulo, Steven Gray, Vice President, Climate Change Capital and Nicolas Chung, Senior Investment Manager, CdC Climat.

The event was moderated by Josep Enric Llebot Rabagliati, Secretary for Environment and Sustainability, Catalonia who spoke of the financial models used in his region.

The examples highlighted by the regional government ranged from setting up regional carbon funds in Brittany, additional fast start financing for Wallonia’s climate projects in developing countries, setting up of new financial institutions for financing energy efficiency and renewable energy in Sao Paulo, and extensive carbon tax revenues in British Columbia.

Scotland focused particularly on its policies and private investment, which has now created a low carbon market worth 8.8 billion euros and growing to 12 billion by 2015, representing 10% of GDP and 5 % of the workforce.

The State of North Rhine Westphalia spotlighted its 700 million euros of public spending on support measures for energy efficiency, which has created investments up to 3.8 billion, and the Basque Country drew attention to its public private partnerships in the area of electro mobility and smart grids.

CdC Climat recognized the big opportunities that exist to better identify projects at sub-national level with a more practical regional policy. Currently investors alone cannot identify enough feasible projects.

Finally Climate Change Capital summarized existing mechanisms and funds, and identified some institutional barriers for tapping into the international finance mechanisms and often limited fiscal powers that can impact investment flows.

It was conferred that harmonization among local financing models, funds and markets is necessary, and comparing the potential objectives of different regions is key to improving this.

Luc Bas, Director for International States and Regions, The Climate Group says: “The discussion and exchange of financing solutions among sub-national governments is only just starting, but this event and the contributions of the members of The Climate Group’s States and Regions Alliance and others, mark another important step forward in the complex debate on the most efficient way to finance the Clean Revolution.”

Further reading

Damian Ryan, Senior Policy Manager, The Climate Group, is writing news and analysis throughout COP17, and providing a more in-depth post-COP Briefing after the events. Keep up to date on our website and by following him on Twitter during COP17.

Our international policy teams are have also commented on key regional positions in the lead-up to Durban; read about AustraliaChina,EuropeIndia and the US.

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