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At the IDB, we believe that together we can go farther. Our partnership network is making positive differences in Latin America and the Caribbean every day, and this blog is our channel for telling that story. Stay tuned for literature on partnership perspectives, stories from the field, changing trends, outlooks for development and the region, information on ways and opportunities to partner, and more. Thanks for stopping by.

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Growing Green Relationships: the IDB and the NDF

By - Jun 5 2014

Environment Day pc small

The IDB’s climate change experts talk about adaption, challenges, and more.

Rising temperatures and CO2 emissions—what do they mean for Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC)? Climate change and the development of renewable energy resources are crucial to the region’s future in an environmental, economic, and social sense. Put in more quantifiable terms,  LAC stands to save nearly $3 billion by using renewable energy sources to avoid the emission of 2 billion tons of CO2 over the next 25 years. Furthermore, a projected 2˚C rise in temperatures by 2050 could mean drastic changes the region over. What does this mean? That on this World Environment Day, we must take into account the importance of innovative energy solutions and climate change adaptation efforts, and applaud those paving the way for a greener, more sustainable tomorrow.

From all the way across the pond, the Nordic Development Fund (NDF) is working both diligently and creatively to spark climate change and renewable energy efforts across our region, and specifically in Bolivia, Honduras, and Nicaragua. As the joint development finance institution of the five Nordic countries, the NDF’s commitment to facilitating climate change investments in LAC is a testament to the region’s importance as a global figure in greater environmental efforts. From encouraging inventive solutions to energy problems through the IDEAS Energy Innovation Contest, to emphasizing the importance climate change adaptation to the region’s smallest enterprises through PROADAPT, to energy efficiency technical assistance and financing, and more, the NDF has proved to be a reliable partner and a generous source of financing for climate change innovations. Contributing $13.5 million in grants for such efforts in 2013 alone, we thank them for their dedication to these causes specifically and to our region in general.

So what do rising temperatures and CO2 emissions mean for LAC? In sum, a potentially transformative impact on human activities, ecosystems, and economies. It is a joint understanding of this that has brought the IDB and the NDF together to partner for a greener and more sustainable tomorrow. Don’t believe us? Hear it straight from our partners by checking out the below interview. In three questions, NDF Managing Director Pasi Hellman describes the NDF-IDB relationship, the NDF-LAC relationship, and the Fund’s priorities moving forward.

Q. The NDF’s success as a tool for economic and social development has resulted in its recognition time and again. If you had to narrow it down, what specific endeavors have set the NDF apart and contributed to its prestige?

A. NDF has since 2009 focused on providing financing for climate change mitigation and adaptation in low-income countries. We have been able to develop our own knowledge and expertise in this area, and this has been recognized by our partners, both countries and co-financiers. They know what to expect from us. We were one of the first international financial institutions to establish clear screening criteria for what projects can qualify as “climate change mitigation” or “adaptation,” so that one can be sure that our funding truly addresses climate concern.

Q. As a partner from across the Atlantic with a strong focus on Africa and Asia, what unique opportunities have presented themselves to you in LAC?

A. The LAC region’s rapid economic growth, urbanization, environmental consciousness, entrepreneurship, and innovativeness have offered possibilities for NDF and the IDB to test and pilot new, innovative forms of climate financing – and our experiences with this partnership have helped us plan interventions with countries in Africa and Asia. Some of our co-financing activities with IDB have grown into larger regional programs, for example the “Emerging and Sustainable Cities Initiative (ESCI).” Some other pilot-type programs or facilities, targeted particularly at supporting private sector and SME development, have attracted attention around the world. And with the IDB we have a partner who shares our interest in developing innovative approaches, and is willing to experiment in new, even risky, operations.

Q. You are the donor that works with the largest number of IDB divisions. How have you managed to successfully connect your priorities regarding climate change with so many sectors?

A. Because climate change affects whole societies, we have purposefully sought to integrate climate dimension into our sectoral investments, and with IDB we have been doing this with regard to sectors such as energy, transport, education and environment. Together we are supporting energy efficiency and renewable energy, as well as integration of climate change aspects into planning and design of road transport infrastructure. In addition to this, we focus on initiatives that transcend any specific sector and take broader view with the aim of identifying adaptive solutions and reducing GHG emissions. NDF works with the IDB private sector entities (IIC, MIF, and SCF) in recognition of the fact that the private sector will have to be part of the solution to climate change.

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