Side Event

ADB Launches IF-CAP, a Landmark in Climate Finance Innovation

Thursday, 4 May 2023, 4:45 pm - 5:30 pm (Asia/Seoul)
Songdo Convensia, Room 113-115

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Session Summary

The complexity and scale of the climate crisis calls for an innovative and transformative approach to mobilizing finance if we are to meet development and climate goals across the region.

In response, ADB has created the Innovative Finance Facility for Climate in Asia and the Pacific (IF-CAP) – a strategic initiative that will expand ADB’s lending capacity through leverage. Through a novel risk-sharing mechanism, IF-CAP will enable ADB to make more resources available for accelerating climate action in developing member countries. IF-CAP’s initial ambition of $3 billion in guarantees could create up to $15 billion in new climate projects.

This event marked the official launch of IF-CAP by ADB, together with partners from the governments of Denmark, the Republic of Korea, Japan, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

ADB President Masatsugu Asakawa underscored the urgency of climate action in the face of far-reaching effects of climate disasters in Asia and the Pacific. He highlighted the crucial role of partnerships in enabling the region to solve the climate crisis faster and with more innovation and invited more to join the effort.

IF-CAP partners emphasized the case for mobilizing climate finance quickly and at scale for both mitigation and adaptation, and for ensuring that resources are used to reach those most vulnerable. Interventions that are in line with country-specific contexts are needed across sectors and themes, including energy, agriculture and natural resources, transportation, and urban development. In addition to catalyzing much-needed investments, IF-CAP is also seen as instrumental for shared priorities such as gender, regional cooperation, and private sector mobilization.

ADB is a first mover among multilateral development banks in using a leveraged mechanism for climate finance. Partners expressed strong support for IF-CAP and appreciation for ADB’s leadership as the region’s climate bank. All partners signified commitment to continue working closely with ADB toward finalizing IF-CAP’s structure and its successful implementation.

IF-CAP complements other innovative finance initiatives of ADB such as the Energy Transition Mechanism and will contribute to achieving ADB’s raised ambition of $100 billion in climate finance for 2019-2030.

Speakers

Masatsugu AsakawaPresident and Chairperson of the Board of Directors, ADB 

Masatsugu Asakawa was elected ADB President by ADB’s Board of Governors and assumed office on 17 January 2020. Prior to joining ADB, he served as Special Advisor to Japan’s Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, and has a close-to four decades’ career at the Ministry of Finance with diverse professional experience that cuts across both domestic and international fronts. Mr. Asakawa also worked for international organizations as the Chief Advisor to the ADB President between 1989 and 1992, senior staff at the Fiscal Affairs Department of the IMF (1996–2000), and Chair for the Committee on Fiscal Affairs at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (2011–2016).

Kisun BangFirst Vice Minister of Economy and Finance, Republic of Korea

Kisun Bang is the first vice minister of economy and finance of the Republic of Korea. He has over 30 years of professional experience in various fields concerning the economy, especially in fiscal strategy and budget. Prior to this role, he served as executive director of ADB from February 2021 to May 2022. He also worked as deputy minister of economy and finance, and director general of the Office of Innovative Growth and the Policy Coordination Bureau. He holds a BA in economics from Seoul National University and a PhD in economics from University of Missouri-Columbia.

Margaret L. KuhlowDeputy Assistant Secretary for International Development Finance and Policy, United States Treasury

Prior to her current role, Margaret Kuhlow led the finance practice of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), providing strategic direction and thought and content leadership to WWF’s global engagement with the finance sector. Before joining WWF, Ms. Kuhlow was vice president of investment policy at the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, where she led the agency’s approach to the Sustainable Development Goals. She assisted with establishing and implementing the US Government’s Millennium Challenge Corporation, leading the new agency’s approach to environmental and social assessment of major investment projects as vice president for accountability. In Ms. Kuhlow’s 25-year career, she has lived and worked extensively in developing and emerging markets and has broad sectoral experience in sustainable investment, project finance, and grant making. She holds a master’s degree in public policy from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.

Kentaro OgataDeputy Vice Minister for International Affairs, Ministry of Finance, Japan

Kentaro Ogata assumed his current position in July 2021 after serving as director of planning and administration, and director of international organizations of Japan’s International Bureau. He earlier served as director of the Tax Bureau in charge of international tax policy and director for development issues in the International Bureau. On two separate occasions, he worked at the IMF and is an expert on international tax issues. He holds a bachelor’s degree in l aw from the University of Tokyo and an MBA from Maryland University.

Svend OllingAmbassador to the Republic of Korea, Denmark

Svend Olling is a senior Danish diplomat recently arrived in Seoul as the designated ambassador of Denmark. He previously served as ambassador to Egypt (2020-2023), Turkey (2016-2020), and Bangladesh (2010-2013) with earlier postings to Washington DC and Berlin. Mr. Olling holds an MD in political economy from the University of Copenhagen. Focal points of his diplomatic career have been economic diplomacy, security policy, and climate change, including heading the organizing committee for the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen in 2009 (COP15).

AnnaMaria Oltorp Head, Development Cooperation, Regional Asia and the Pacific, Embassy of Sweden in Bangkok, Thailand

AnnaMaria Oltorp is responsible for implementing Sweden’s strategy for regional development cooperation in Asia and the Pacific. For the last seven years, she headed the unit for research cooperation at the Swedish Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) in Stockholm, with a global mandate and supporting research in all disciplines and research capacity building. Prior to this, she worked as head of regional development cooperation in Asia. Ms. Oltorp has a research background in economics and environmental economics from Stockholm School of Economics.

Rachel Turner Director, International Finance, Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office, United Kingdom

Rachel Turner is director of international finance at the UK Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office, managing relationships with global financial institutions and leading on public and private sector development issues and the multilateral and bilateral development architecture. Previously the director general of economic development and international; director for economic development; and director East and Central Africa, she has over 25 years of experience developing lower middle-income countries across Africa and Eastern Europe, heading offices and overseeing African development programs.

Emcee

Warren EvansSpecial Senior Advisor (Climate Change), Office of the President, ADB

Warren Evans is a climate envoy and provides broad oversight and guidance for ADB’s climate operations, including optimizing climate finance scale and impact, mobilizing new and additional technical and financial resources, strengthening ADB’s external climate partnerships and engagement with international climate agreements and initiatives, and reinforcing capacity development for climate change operations. Mr. Evans has more than 40 years of sustainable development and climate change experience with various multilateral development banks, private organizations, and other international organizations. He holds a doctorate in cleaner production and climate change policy from Erasmus University Rotterdam in the Netherlands, a master’s degree in environmental health engineering from the University of Kansas, and a bachelor’s in ecology from Kansas State University in the United States.