The OPIC Blog

“The Lab:” A multinational innovation for a global challenge


Elizabeth Littlefield and Global Innovation Lab for Climate Finance groupOPIC President and CEO Elizabeth Littlefield traveled to London in June to join the launch of the Global Innovation Lab for Climate Finance, a group of public and private sector leaders from around the world brought together by the Climate Policy Initiative (CPI). “The Lab” is a public-private initiative that seeks to leverage the tools of private investment to support a low-carbon economy and address the challenge of climate change.

The Lab is a collaborative effort of the U.S., U.K. and German governments and includes experts on climate finance from Denmark, France, Japan, the Netherlands and Norway. It was developed by governments, and the CPI acts as secretariat as well as provides analytical support. Over the next several months, it will seek to identify some new climate finance instruments to guide investing climate-related activities in developing countries.

Some of the ideas raised at the June meeting included a renewable energy platform to aggregate institutional investors, long-term currency swap insurance to mitigate risk, and finance and debt facilities to stimulate deal flow in climate-related investments.

The group will continue analytical work through 2014 to develop the finance instruments identified, with planned publication of the findings and further meetings later in 2014.

“Over the past three years, OPIC has committed roughly a third of our portfolio toward renewable energy projects, including over $1.2 billion in 2013 alone,” said Ms. Littlefield, one of The Lab’s principals. “While significant challenges remain to mobilize climate finance on the scale that is needed, OPIC’s rapid growth in the renewables field is proof that it’s a high-impact sector that investors find rewarding.”

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