GAIA, a climate change-focused blended finance platform led by MUFG, one of the world's leading financial groups, and FinDev Canada, Canada's bilateral development finance institution, has won the Best Blended Investment NDC (Nationally Determined Contribution) Initiative of the Year award at COP28.
The awards ceremony took place at COP28 on 5th December during the African Investment Earthshot Leaders Summit. The awards recognise both public and private sector institutions that are working to innovate and break new ground to mobilise private capital and private sector participation at scale, for Africa's bankable NDC investment commitments and projects.
GAIA is a USD $1.48 billion climate change-focused blended finance platform that will offer long-term loans for climate change adaptation and mitigation investments in up to 25 developing countries across Asia, Africa, Latin America, and the Caribbean, making funding accessible through sources previously unattainable to participating countries.
Christopher Marks, Managing Director, Head of Portfolio Solutions, Innovative Finance & Growth Markets for EMEA, MUFG, said:
"We are delighted that GAIA has been recognised for its ambitions to drive the transition towards a more sustainable, inclusive global economy.
Using an innovative approach to blended finance, we are excited to witness the impact GAIA can have in helping to progress climate change adaptation and mitigation projects in regions where it is needed most."
Lori Kerr, Chief Executive Officer, FinDev Canada, said:
"I'm honoured to accept this award on behalf of FinDev Canada, alongside my colleagues from MUFG. This award recognises the innovative nature of the GAIA platform and the role it will play in helping to mobilise private capital in support of projects that contribute to climate action."
The fundamental objective of GAIA's platform is to employ its public-private financing capacity into meaningful, low-carbon, climate adaptation and mitigation assets, across a range of climate change projects in vulnerable countries.
Overall, the platform will direct around 25% of investments towards Least Developed Countries and Small Island Developing States, ensuring that funding reaches the most climate vulnerable communities. Approximately 70% of total portfolio investments will go towards adaptation projects.
The United Nations estimates a financing gap of well over USD $500 billion per year for climate projects in emerging markets over the next ten years.
GAIA will help bridge the climate finance gap by financing projects aligned with Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and National Adaptation Plans (NAPs) with a target to support climate change adaptation (70%) and mitigation (30%) projects.
GAIA is committed to overcoming barriers that hinder private investment in climate change projects in emerging markets and pave the way for the creation of similar platforms which could lead to substantial private sector investments in various sectors, including sustainability, in developing countries which often have limited financing alternatives.
The African NDC Investment Awards recognise achievements across the main NDC project sectors and reward the governments, institutions, and individuals driving transactions and improving the investment readiness of Africa's NDC projects, which require USD $3 trillion of investment by 2030.
The awards are the only international, pan-African awards that recognise and reward both public and private sector institutions who are working to innovate and break new ground to mobilise investment and private sector participation at scale, for NDC Paris-aligned climate investment commitments and projects.
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