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Green Investment Banks

Scaling up Private Investment in Low-carbon, Climate-resilient Infrastructure

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This report provides the first comprehensive study of publicly capitalised green investment banks (GIBs), analysing the rationales, mandates and financing activities of this relatively new category of public financial institution. Based on the experience of over a dozen GIBs and GIB-like entities, the report provides a non-prescriptive stock-taking of the diverse ways in which these public institutions are catalysing private investment in low-carbon, climate-resilient infrastructure and other green sectors, with a spotlight on energy efficiency projects. The report also provides practical information to policy makers on how green investment banks are being set up, capitalised and staffed.

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Executive summary

Despite growing investment in renewable energy and energy efficiency, efforts to significantly scale up private investment in green infrastructure, including low-carbon and climate-resilient (LCR) infrastructure, continue to face challenges. Pricing signals often favour investment in unabated fossil-fuel intensive activities over LCR alternatives since the social costs of emissions are not adequately reflected and even commercially viable LCR projects can be associated with higher risks and transaction costs. As governments work to meet their pre- and post-2020 emission reduction pledges, they will need to make efficient use of public funding to mobilise much larger amounts of private investment in LCR infrastructure.

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