1 Jun 2022 | Press Release | Affiliated | Climate Investment Funds

New CIF Program Harnesses Nature to Scale Climate Action, Sustainable Food Supply in Developing Countries

STOCKHOLM, June 1, 2022—Today, the Climate Investment Funds (CIF) launched the CIF Nature, People, and Climate (NPC) investment platform to pilot and scale nature-based solutions in developing countries.

Announced during the UN’s Stockholm+50 international meeting, the program will promote and protect natural environments known to be integral in addressing climate change by investing in sustainable agriculture and food supply, healthy forests, and resilient coastal systems. NPC will also mobilize finance to empower Indigenous peoples and local communities to lead climate action. 

To date, Italy and Sweden have pledged to capitalize the initiative, which comes as developing countries bear the brunt of the climate crisis and compounding impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine.

Building on CIF’s 12-year track record in climate finance mobilization, NPC will deploy resources to de-risk and scale investments in sustainable land resources and ecosystems across key sectors and geographies, opting for a “systems-level” approach rather than a project-by-project lens.

Examples could include climate resilience and carbon sequestration programming in small island developing states, sub-Saharan Africa—including the Sahel region—and forested countries around the globe. NPC initiatives will drive climate-smart approaches to agriculture, food production, forest and land use, and coastal system management through such means as the restoration of mangroves. By design NPC supports both climate mitigation and adaptation objectives.

Another key NPC focus is enabling Indigenous and local communities to lead, implement, and shape climate action locally and around the world. It will replicate CIF’s successful Dedicated Grant Mechanism for Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities (DGM), which provides direct financing to empower Indigenous Peoples and local communities to sustainably manage natural resources, restore land access through initiatives such as land titling programs, and fight climate change through the application of local and traditional knowledge.

In a dozen countries so far, DGM has shown that involving Indigenous Peoples in climate finance decisions can improve everything from livelihoods at the local level to land tenure policy at the national level. It has also improved Indigenous participation in the international climate policy arena.

The country selection process will begin soon, and eligible countries are invited to submit expressions of interest. CIF’s governing bodies will select the first participating countries on advice from independent experts and based on available capital. NPC investments, like all CIF initiatives, are implemented by multilateral development bank partners.

 An estimated 23% of total human-caused greenhouse gas emissions come from agriculture, forestry, and other land use. While changes in land use and land cover significantly worsen our climate crisis, climate change itself further stresses our natural systems. It accelerates land degradation and biodiversity loss, and threatens the livelihoods of climate-vulnerable rural peoples.

Outside sizable climate benefits, sustainable agriculture and forest management, including measures such as agroforestry, could deliver over $2 trillion per year in economic benefits, generate millions of jobs in developing countries, and improve food security. At the same time, the restoration of forests, degraded lands, and coastal zones can help strengthen resilience to climate impacts.

The nature finance gap is expansive. According to the United Nations, annual nature investments from G20 nations alone need to increase by an additional $165 billion per year—an increase of 140% from existing levels—to realize biodiversity, land restoration and climate targets by 2050. Globally, investments will have to scale up fourfold by 2050. Current G20 spending is estimated to be $120 billion per year.

The war in Ukraine has dealt a major shock to commodity markets, altering global patterns of trade, production, and consumption in ways that will keep prices at historically high levels through the end of 2024, according to the World Bank. Wheat prices are forecast to increase more than 40%, reaching an all-time high in nominal terms this year. That will put pressure on developing economies that rely on wheat and edible oil imports, especially from Russia and Ukraine.

Productive and sustainable use of the Earth’s natural resources is essential to the health, food security, nutrition, and economic well-being of people around the world.

Italian Minister of the Economy and Finance, Daniele Franco: “In the fight against climate change, the urgency of preserving global commons emerges clearly. We are all working hard to build more sustainable and resilient economies. The G20 under the Italian Presidency put climate at the centre of the global economic and financial agenda. Now more than ever, international cooperation is of the essence to match good will with concrete actions. Italy is proud to contribute to the Nature People and Climate Investment Program, joining the CIF family. Accelerating investments in adaptation and resilience is needed to prevent the negative impact of climate change, safeguard indigenous communities and promote biodiversity. In this regard it is crucial to ensure the role of nature-based solutions in investment pipelines, to address the communities’ vulnerability and the overall climate risk.”

Swedish Minister for International Development Cooperation, Matilda Elisabeth Ernkrans: “Nature-based solutions help reduce emissions, support communities adapting to a changing climate, and protect biodiversity. We are proud to expand our partnership with the Climate Investment Funds and drive sustainable ecosystems in developing countries. Sweden has long advocated for sustainable land use and natural resource management. Our financial contribution to the CIF Nature, People, and Climate investment program is an extension of a Swedish foreign policy that protects our natural capital and the planet we call home.”

Egyptian Minister for International Cooperation, Rania Al-Mashat: “The sustainable management of Earth’s resources is of utmost importance in improving the global health system, ensuring food security and sustainable agriculture, and accelerating economic and social development. The launch of the Climate Investment Funds Nature, People, and Climate Program is key in scaling-up nature-based solutions in developing countries by building climate resilience, enhancing biodiversity and ecosystem conservation, and supporting communities in the green transformation to preserve livelihoods. In order to meet the globally agreed upon climate targets, driving climate action through country-owned approaches, international cooperation, and public-private partnerships is pivotal in mobilizing the necessary financing; increasing adaptation and resilience through innovative solutions.”

 CEO of the Climate Investment Funds, Mafalda Duarte: “The Climate Investment Funds exists to scale and pilot cutting-edge climate solutions in middle and low-income countries. Fewer solutions are as effective, scalable, or cost-efficient as those we derive from nature itself. Sustainable land use and ecosystems yield returns for people and planet, with the potential to remove 12 gigatons of greenhouse gasses every year, add over $2 trillion annually to the global economy, and generate millions of jobs. By investing in nature, we invest in the success of rural and Indigenous communities, sustainable supply chains, healthier coastlines, and climate-smarter food production. In short, we’re investing in a better world and honoring who we are.”

Learn more:

Climate Investment Funds (CIF) Factsheet

Nature, People, and Climate (NPC) Factsheet

Information about NPC expressions of interest 

About the Climate Investment Funds
The Climate Investment Funds (CIF) is one of the largest multilateral climate funds in the world. It was established in 2008 to mobilize finance for low-carbon, climate-resilient development at scale in developing countries. 14 contributor countries have pledged over $10 billion to the funds. To date CIF committed capital has mobilized more than $62 billion in additional financing, particularly from the private sector, in 72 countries. CIF’s large-scale, low-cost, long-term financing lowers the risk and cost of climate financing. It tests new business models, builds track records in unproven markets, and boosts investor confidence to unlock additional sources of finance. Recognizing the urgency of CIF's mission, the G7 confirmed its commitment to provide up to $2 billion in additional resources for CIF in 2021. https://www.climateinvestmentfunds.org