To meet commitments under the Paris Agreement, Latin America will require investments of more than $2.64 trillion (USD) in clean energy and urban infrastructure by 2030. Many of these needed climate investments—an average of $176 billion per year for things like efficient buildings, waste management, and cleaner transportation—can help countries build healthier, more prosperous communities. By transitioning to cleaner transportation solutions, communities experience reduced health risks associated with air pollution. Small businesses and households can save money through greater energy efficiency. Cities become more resilient and more livable when they incorporate green infrastructure and invest in integrated water management practices that alleviate water scarcity.
Public funds alone cannot fill an investment need of this magnitude. As recently as 2014, only $32 billion was invested annually in the region from public sources. It will be essential to increase and accelerate the flow of private capital toward climate solutions, including renewables and energy efficiency, clean transportation, resilient and green infrastructure, and sustainable water management technologies. But because commercial banks and other private investors are often unfamiliar with how to finance “green” solutions, the most-needed climate measures may lack access to capital.
NRDC is working with partners in the region and beyond to help overcome this barrier by developing innovative green finance solutions. Our work includes leveraging NRDC’s experience with the Green Bank Network, a knowledge-sharing platform that draws from the expertise and experiences of existing green investment banks, to help countries like Chile and Mexico adapt the green investment bank model to their local contexts. We believe that the use of innovative finance tools and inclusive climate solutions can help countries in Latin America form the basis of more equitable, clean, and resilient societies.