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Harnessing the Potential of Climate FDI for a Greener Tomorrow

The global push towards a low-carbon economy has spotlighted the urgent need for climate finance. As revealed during the COP27 summit, $4-6 trillion per year is essential for this transformation. Developing nations alone require nearly $5.9 trillion to meet their climate commitments by 2030. In this scenario, climate FDI (Foreign Direct Investment aligned with climate goals) has emerged as a key instrument. This article explores the potential, challenges, and strategies surrounding climate FDI.

What is Climate FDI?

Climate FDI refers to investments that are consistent with and supportive of climate objectives. Despite its vast potential, climate FDI currently falls short in many developing economies.

Understanding the Barriers

Various obstacles hinder the flow of climate FDI. Some relate to investor apprehensions not connected to climate, while others are sector-specific, involving capital-intensive projects or long investment horizons. Additionally, FDI does not necessarily bring climate or other advantages, necessitating targeted policies and procedures.

Guidebook to Facilitating Climate FDI

After 12 months of extensive consultation, a guidebook has been crafted for investment authorities on facilitating climate FDI. It recommends four categories of measures achievable through public-private collaboration.

  1. Aligning Strategies with Climate Action: Coordinating investment authorities with climate initiatives and providing suitable de-risking tools.
  2. Developing Domestic Supplier Databases: Creating sustainability-focused databases for investors.
  3. Matchmaking Climate Commitments: Connecting multinational corporations’ climate pledges with investable projects.
  4. Advancing Legal Provisions: Implementing legal provisions for climate FDI facilitation.

The guidebook is currently being put into practice in countries like Brazil and Namibia, with the intention of expanding to other nations.

Climate FDI in Action: Global Perspectives

Several thought leaders have expressed their views on why climate FDI is pivotal at this juncture.

Ismail Ersahin, WAIPA: “Accelerating Climate FDI for a Carbon-Neutral World”

Investment Promotion Agencies (IPAs) play a vital role in fostering green prosperity and shaping the future landscape of climate FDI.

A. Burak Dağlıoğlu, Turkey: “Leveraging Climate FDI for Green Technology”

Turkey’s strong industries, including automotive, aviation, and pharmaceuticals, are primed to benefit from climate FDI, fostering greener technologies.

Saliem Fakir, African Climate Foundation: “Climate FDI’s Urgent Role in Africa”

Climate FDI can provide not just funding but also expertise and risk awareness, especially in African countries that are already feeling the impacts of climate change.

Anmay Ditman, BlackRock Inc.: “Attracting Private Capital for a Low-Carbon Transition”

The shift to a low-carbon economy offers a historic investment opportunity across various sectors. BlackRock believes that public-private partnerships and de-risking are essential to drive necessary investment.

Rami Rafih, BCG: “Bridging the North-South Divide with Climate FDI”

BCG emphasizes the urgency of mobilizing trillions for climate adaptation in developing nations. Strategies promoting climate FDI into emerging markets will help bridge this divide.

Radhika Thakkar, Sun King: “Promising Pathways for Climate FDI in Emerging Markets”

Sun King and its partners are devising new financial tools to invest in Africa’s off-grid solar sector. Climate FDI must extend to emerging markets to meet climate commitments.

Henry Loewendahl, Financial Times: “Driving Clean Tech Through Climate FDI”

Data from fDi Markets shows the importance of attracting FDI to drive clean tech. Governments and IPAs must strengthen their global investment attraction programs.

Martin Dietrich Brauch, Colombia Center on Sustainable Investment: “Scaling Renewable Energy Investment Through Climate FDI”

Climate FDI can help developing nations expand renewable energy access and adapt to climate impacts. Reformation of international governance mechanisms can unlock the potential benefits of climate FDI.


Climate FDI stands as a linchpin in the global fight against climate change. By identifying barriers, promoting strategic collaborations, and embracing international perspectives, we can unlock the full potential of climate FDI. The timely expansion of investment in green technologies and emerging markets is paramount for a sustainable and resilient future.

Feel free to contact the Energy Transition Centre today with questions. 

·  Julius Moerder, Head of Energy Transition Centre [email protected]

·  Oneyka Ojogbo, Head of Energy Transition Centre, Nigeria & West Africa [email protected]

·  Leon van Der Merwe, Head of Energy Transition Centre, South Africa [email protected]

Author: Memoona Tawfiq