FEEM – ICCG Best Practices Contest Awards: top projects for expanding access to climate finance

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The International Center for Climate Governance (ICCG), an initiative of the Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei (FEEM) and the Fondazione Giorgio Cini, announced the outcomes of the 2016 Best Climate Practices Award, focused on “Expanding access to climate financing”.

The final ranking of the proposals  was obtained by combining the public’s inputs gathered through online voting and the assessments of the International Expert Panel. This year’s panelists: Carlo Carraro (ICCG, GGKP and Ca’Foscari University of Venice), Zaheer Fakir (Green Climate Fund, GCF), Alejandro Kilpatrick (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, UNFCCC) and Nick Robins (UNEP Inquiry).

This year, the ICCG 2016 Best Climate Practices Contest breaks the usual routine by awarding the prize to two winning projects and a special mention to two other very innovative projects.

The jury awarded two projects in a tie as winners of the 2016 Best Climate Practices Award: the “Carbon Finance for Families in Mozambique” project, developed by the Italian consultancy firm CarbonSink, and the “Clean Energy Promotion through Microfinance in Ethiopia” project, operated by a consortium of organizations and led by the Finland-based Gaia Consulting Oy.

Among a diverse set of 14 remarkable contestants, the jury’s choice was motivated by the will to award two active and operative entities implementing microfinance strategies that have proven their capacity to deliver concrete results in climate-vulnerable developing countries.

The project “Carbon Finance for families in Mozambique” aims at promoting energy efficiency, conserving natural resources and improving living conditions in Maputo, the capital, and in the city of Pemba, through distribution of efficient cooking stoves, financed by revenues from the generation of carbon credits. The project provided 5,000 improved cooking stoves in the 2014-2015 period and plans to distribute a further 6,500 sustainable stoves, in part locally made, during the following phase.

The project “Clean Energy Promotion through Microfinance in Ethiopia” in 2014 initiated an innovative and replicable mechanism to finance clean energy technologies (CETs) for households and micro, small and middle-size enterprises (MSMEs) through microcredit financing. The project established a business concept for three Ethiopian microfinance institutions (MFIs), with a total outreach of more than 130,000 current clients, of which 82,000 are women.

The two 2016 Best Climate Practices winners will split the 3000 Euro prize equally as a contribution to their activities.

The jury also accorded special mention to two other projects for their high potential to improve access to, and inclusiveness of, climate finance.

A special mention was accorded to Fair Climate Fund, a Dutch social venture operating in India and Ethiopia. The Best Climate Practices jury agreed that the project deserved recognition for its capacity to link different sectors and countries, and for the scalable potential of its innovative “FairTrade Climate Standard”, currently involved in a pilot phase.

A second special mention went to the “Matchmaker” project, developed by the French Low Carbon City Lab programme (LoCaL, Climate-Kic), for its systemic, smart approach to targeting the key sector of urban climate finance.

“We have been honoured to have three experts involved at the highest level in the field of climate finance as members of this year’s jury” said Carlo Carraro, ICCG Director and Chair of the 2016 Best Climate Practices Expert Panel. “Our task was particularly challenging due to the quality of the projects and the different approaches proposed by the candidates to unlock financial resources for climate actions and to efficiently match investments with communities’ needs and local plans. These heterogeneous experiences are signs of positive change and evolution in the field and the jury’s final choices wanted to reflect such diversity, balancing the innovation potential with due consideration of observed results”. “The key challenge in the next few years will be to develop adaptation finance at scale. The sector is still playing a marginal role in the overall climate finance landscape, and also the type of projects that participated in the contest mostly revealed this slower pace. But to properly tackle climate change at all levels, providing funds to deal with climate impacts and increase resilience has become as important as financing emission reduction projects”.

The 2016 Best Climate Practices contest featured 14 candidates from all over the world, who presented a wide range of solutions to raise and drive financial support toward local, small-scale mitigation and adaptation actions for the purpose of increasing inclusiveness and simplifying access to climate finance.

Here the top 5 ranking contestants, according to the combined results of the Expert Panel assessment and the online voting polls:

1 The winners. Carbon Finance for families in Mozambique/Clean Energy Promotion through Microfinance (CEPM) in Ethiopia
3 Small Participation Fund for The Poor’s Climate Change Response
4 Matchmaker
5 OpenForests online platform for forest investment and project management
All other climate finance projects can be found in the Best Climate Practices website.

The winners were awarded on November 28, during a special event organized by FEEM in Milan. For more information about the event please visit the ICCG website or the FEEM website.

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