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UK, IFC mobilise $2b to finance green construction

IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, and the government of the United Kingdom announced on Monday, December 10, 2018 a new partnership to help transform construction markets by crowding in as much as $2 billion in public and private sector financing for certified green buildings in emerging markets.

Green building
Green building

The UK-IFC Market Accelerator for Green Construction Programme will be the first UK-IFC partnership in blended concessional finance for climate change mitigation. The U.K. government’s contribution of £105 million will include £80 million for investments and £25 million for advisory services. The funds will be used to incentivise the development of green buildings through certification with IFC’s EDGE and other leading certification systems.

Globally, buildings generate 19 percent of energy-related greenhouse gas emissions and consume 40 percent of electricity. Every year, an additional 5.5 billion square meters of floor space is constructed, mainly in emerging markets where green construction makes up only a small fraction of new buildings. The global built environment is expected to double by 2050, and green construction can secure lower emissions for decades. By accelerating the construction of certified green buildings, the program aims to mobilise $2 billion in investments to help tackle climate change.

“Green buildings represent a powerful opportunity to address climate change in emerging markets,” said Hans Peter Lankes, IFC’s Vice President for Economics and Private Sector Development. “Investments in green buildings certified with EDGE and other standards could represent a $3.4 trillion opportunity over the next decade. Blended finance is a valuable tool to help create new markets for green construction by mobilizing private capital through financial intermediaries.”

“To date the UK has supported 47 million people across the globe cope with the effects of climate change and provided 17 million people with improved access to clean energy, helping to raise $100 billion a year by 2020 and sharing expertise to keep us secure too,” said Claire Perry, Minister of State for Energy and Clean Growth. “One year on from the launch of our modern Industrial Strategy, we are making the most of the economic opportunities that go hand-in-hand with tackling climate change. This exciting new programme will encourage greener construction practices in developing countries to improve energy efficiency and reduce emissions, creating opportunities for UK businesses to invest in new markets,” she concluded.

IFC plays a key role in advancing climate solutions led by the private sector. It has an ambitious commitment to ensure 35 percent of its investments are climate-related by 2030. Since 2005, IFC has invested $22.2 billion in long-term financing from its own account and mobilised another $15.7 billion from investors for climate-related projects. IFC green building commitments were $1.4 billion in fiscal year 2018. EDGE certification is available in 144 countries with more than four million square meters of floor space certified.

IFC’s Blended Finance practice helps unlock private sector capital by using concessional finance to mitigate risks, enabling private investors to undertake high-impact development projects that are on the cusp of commercial viability. In fiscal year 2018, IFC committed more than $218 million of concessional donor funds, catalysing $1.5 billion in private investment.

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