The announcements were made this week at the Climate Investment Funds (CIF) “The Power of 10: Shaping the Future of Climate Action” event at the Noor Ouarzazate Concentrated Solar Power Plant – the largest facility of its kind in the world – in Morocco. The summit convened over 300 climate leaders from the public and private sectors for action-oriented dialogue on fighting climate change.

Technical Assistance Facility for Clean Energy Investment

A highlight of the event was the surprise announcement of the new Technical Assistance Facility for Clean Energy Investment, with an initial investment of $15 million from the government of Denmark.

The Facility, established within CIF, will focus on technical support for establishing investment-friendly regulatory environments and other investment conditions for renewable energy and energy efficiency, including by increasing predictability and security for investors, thereby enabling accelerated scale-up of investments at lower costs of capital.

The key objective is to assist countries, working closely with multilateral development banks (MDBs), in accelerating investments and market development of clean energy to support their low carbon transformation. The Facility will be launched with the initial contribution, and is open to additional funding contributions from other donors.

Report launches 

CIF launched three highly anticipated reports at the event: two Transformational Change Reports assessing the effectiveness of CIF’s unique approach: independent evaluation and evidence synthesis; and A Learning Review of the Dedicated Grant Mechanism (DGM) for Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities in the Forest Investment Program (FIP).

The new independent Transformational Change reports find the USD 8 billion Climate Investment Funds (CIF) is unique among climate finance institutions and drives fundamental change in how countries tackle climate change. These studies, undertaken by the global consulting firm Itad and leading think tank Overseas Development Institute, respectively—conclude that CIF’s transformational impact derives from the following factors:

  • A country-led approach that aligns investment to national priorities
  • Explicit consideration of barriers to systems-level change at the design phase
  • Large-scale investments using concessional finance
  • Unifying multilateral development banks (MDBs) behind a common investment program
  • Flexibility and predictability of funding

“CIF has consistently taken a deliberate, collaborative and systems-level approach to the delivery of climate finance,” says Mafalda Duarte, Head of CIF. “We have learned which interventions and approaches are most impactful, gaining insights that not only strengthen our own work, but hold lessons for the wider climate finance community.”

The independent review of DGM and FIP says that the Climate Investment Funds is enabling forest-dependent communities to lead on the decisions that most impact them, by providing grants that empower Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities to set priorities, design projects, and implement community-led projects aimed at managing their natural environment.

“We believe that the DGM is a model that works because it includes Indigenous Peoples in the design and implementation – they own the process, so there is greater trust built in the system overall,” says Mafalda Duarte, Head of CIF“As the largest REDD+ initiative created by and for Indigenous Peoples, the DGM is a one-of-a-kind mechanism. There is already clear evidence that this approach is effective and will continue to yield results for these communities in concert with efforts underway to secure the future of our forests.

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Event overview

Held in Ouarzazate, Morocco, the event took place at the Noor Concentrated Solar Power complex, the world’s largest plant of its type in the world, providing renewable energy to more than 2 million households. Participants ranged from government ministers to corporate executives, international organizations to entrepreneurs.

Hundreds of topics were discussed over the two days, across 30 individual session including ministerial remarks, keynote addresses, panel discussions, report launches and interactive workshops.

“We have a rapidly closing window of opportunity to take the required action on climate change, so we set out to create an event that was different than a standard conference, and above all strongly action-oriented. Being at the incredible Noor site reminds us what is possible, and what can be achieved when different actors set their minds, ambitions and energy to a common goal” says Mafalda Duarte, Head of Climate Investment Funds.

The first day was focused on high-level discussions on lessons learned, and the urgency of climate action. Speakers included:

  • The Honorable Aziz Rabbah, Minister of Energy, Mines and Sustainable Development in Morocco;
  • Mr. Abdalah Mokssit, Secretary of the WMO/UNEP Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC);
  • Mustapha Bakkoury, President of MASEN;
  • Mafalda Duarte, Head of Climate Investment Funds.

Day 2 looked to the future with smaller discussions, workshops and breakout sessions on solutions for decarbonization, resilience, and climate action. Topics discussed included urban and climate finance, clean transport, transparent climate leadership, empowering women in climate and the voice of Indigenous people. Speakers included:

  • Ambassador Luis Alfonso de Alba, UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for the 2019 Climate Summit;
  • Hon. Alexander Chiteme, Minister of National Development and Planning, Government of Zambia;
  • Tim Nixon, Head of Sustainability Thought Leadership, Thomson Reuters;
  • Paddy Padmanathan, CEO and President of ACWA Power
  • Long Thim, Community Leader, Kraing Serei Community Forestry Organization, Cambodia.

Central to all the challenges discussed was the importance of climate finance to bring solutions at the scale and pace needed to tackle climate change.

“The need for climate project funding has never been greater or more urgent. Every dollar has to help us catalyze system-wide changes”, says Duarte“CIF has consistently taken a deliberate, collaborative and systems-level approach to the delivery of climate finance, and our experience and lessons learned are important for the whole climate finance community”.

Event website: www.cifpowerof10.org

Transformational Change Reports: 

Press release: https://www.climateinvestmentfunds.org/news/no-time-wait-bold-approach-climate-finance-sparking-change

Independent evaluation report: https://www.climateinvestmentfunds.org/sites/cif_enc/files/knowledge-documents/evaluation_of_transformational_change_in_the_cif_final_w_mresp_jan_2019.pdf

Evidence synthesis report: https://www.odi.org/sites/odi.org.uk/files/resource-documents/12587.pdf

Dedicated Grant Mechanism for Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities in the Forest Investment Program: 

Press release: https://www.climateinvestmentfunds.org/news/efforts-protect-forests-strengthened-innovative-grant-model-indigenous-peoples-review-says

Report: https://www.climateinvestmentfunds.org/sites/cif_enc/files/knowledge-documents/dgm_learning_review_jan26_final_withmanagementstatement.pdf