Funding the climate finance gap in Latin America and the Caribbean: Regional Platform for Climate Projects in Chile highlights investment opportunity in critical climate projects

By Climate Champions | September 29, 2023

The High-Level Champions, together with the COP27 and COP28 Presidencies, and the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) yesterday hosted a regional platform for climate projects in Santiago to highlight the significant role private finance can play in addressing climate change including investing in regional, investable, shovel-ready projects.  

Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) faces disproportionate consequences of climate change. 13 of the 50 most affected countries in the world are located in the region. Responding to the climate crisis in LAC requires annual spending on infrastructure services of 2% to 8% of GDP and addressing social challenges of 5% to 11% of GDP.

Participants at the ‘Advances of the Private Financial Sector to Address the Challenge of Climate Change’ event came together to discuss the tools and initiatives available to overcome the current climate finance funding gap and solutions for scaling much needed investment in mitigation, adaptation and resilience efforts in the region.

Some of the initiatives highlighted at the event attended by regional Finance Ministers, representatives from financial institutions, ECLAC and the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero (GFANZ) included the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD), the availability of bankable projects curated via the Regional Platforms for Climate Projects (RPCP) and investment partnerships.


Dr. Mohieldin joined the forum virtually to address Ministers at ECLAC.

Speaking virtually at the event, Dr. Mahmoud Mohieldin, UN Climate Change High-Level Champion for COP27 said: “A great finance divide is crippling progress on climate and development action. The role private finance can and must play in mobilising capital to fill this gap cannot be overstated. Through the work of the Regional Platforms for Climate Projects we have identified over 400 projects in developing countries. The economic opportunity to invest in these projects must be seized to help break the climate finance deadlock.

In preparation for the event moderated by Daniela Lerario, LAC Director, Climate Champions Team, a number of investable, regional projects were identified, out of which three, all at different stages of the financing lifecycle, were presented to potential investors. These included:

  • Acción Andina is a large-scale, long-term initiative to protect and restore one million hectares of high Andean, native forest ecosystems across the Andes (Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Ecuador, Peru, Colombia (2023) and Venezuela (2025). To reach its goal, Acción Andina needs to unlock US $100-200 million of private, public and multilateral investment over 10 years, with 80% of funding coming from within the region for long-term financial sustainability.


  • The Innovative Finance for the Amazon, Cerrado, and Chaco (IFACCC) initiative bringing together 15 financial and agribusiness companies who have committed to accelerating deforestation-and-conversion free soy and cattle production, agroforestry systems and sustainable management of non-timber forest products in South America. This aims to disburse USD 1 billion by 2025 and mobilize US$10 billion by 2030. 


  • Credit Suisse partnered with Pew Bertarelli Ocean Legacy as the Conservation Partner to negotiate the conservation commitments and establish the Ecuador debt-for-nature swap. This is the world’s largest transaction of this type to date eliminating USD 1 billion of Ecuador’s foreign debt, whilst mobilizing private sector funds to support in-country marine conservation projects in perpetuity. Through this transaction, Ecuador will secure more than USD 1.1 billion in lifetime savings through reduced debt service costs. 

Both the Ecuador debt-for- nature swap and the IFACCC initiative also featured in the recent Mobilizing Private Capital for Nature To Meet Climate Goals and Nature Goals paper co produced by The Climate Champions Team (CCT), the Center for Global Commons (CGC) at Tokyo University, and Systemiq. This  contains clear calls to action for the private sector on how they can scale private finance for Nature-based solutions. It was shaped through the Champions’ engagement with investment banks and climate and nature project developers in numerous countries.

This work also forms part of the broader Regional Platforms for Climate Projects (RPCP) initiative launched at COP27 by the COP27 Presidency, High-Level Champions and the UN Regional Commissions which is now also supported by the COP 28 Presidency.

RPCP aims to finance the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and deliver urgent near-term action by catalyzing investment in critical mitigation, adaptation and resilience projects by matching these with potential investors and financiers.

Header photo credits: © Earthshot Prize/Acción Andina


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