The Seminar on Financing for Climate-Smart Connectivity was organized by the Multilateral Cooperation Center for Development Finance (MCDF) and co-sponsored by Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) and World Resources Institute (WRI) on 25 May 2021. It was the first information and knowledge sharing event held through the MCDF Collaboration Platform, marking the launch of its joint efforts with partners to engage with a global audience on how to advance the connectivity agenda to build a green, resilient, and inclusive future and meet the needs of developing economies.
This first seminar focused on the need for climate-smart connectivity infrastructure through low-carbon and/or resilient projects to withstand the shocks from climate change. The discussion explored how connectivity infrastructure can play a crucial role in climate mitigation action, enhancing adaptation and resilience and supporting the net-zero trajectories of many countries. The seminar was designed to share policies and new practices on climate-smart connectivity investments, present practical recommendations to mainstream climate change mitigation and adaptation in connectivity infrastructure and identify further innovation and research areas.
The event was opened by several high-level speakers including Jiayi Zou, Vice Minister of Finance for the People’s Republic of China; Liqun Jin, President and Chair of the Board at AIIB; Manish Bapna, Interim President & CEO of the World Resources Institute; Nick Bridge, The UK Foreign Secretary’s Special Representative for Climate Change, Alvin Ng, Vice President and General Manager of Digital Solutions for the Asia Pacific at Johnson Controls. Zhongjing Wang, Chief Executive Officer of the MCDF, chaired the opening session.
In addition, keynotes were delivered by Aniruddha Dasgupta, Global Director of the WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities, who spoke on climate-smart connectivity; and Erik Berglof, Chief Economist at the AIIB, who spoke on greening global value chains.
Following the keynote presentations there was a panel discussion on Planning, Financing and Innovation in Climate-Smart Connectivity moderated by Joachim von Amsberg, Vice President of Policy and Strategy at AIIB, with panelists Ahmed Kouchouk, Egyptian Vice Minister of Finance for Fiscal Policy and Institutional Reforms, Tim Stern, Deputy Director of the UK’s FCDO-BEIS International Energy Unit, Ranjit Lamech, Regional Director of Infrastructure in the East Asia and Pacific Region at the World Bank, Sujata Gupta, Director of the Sustainable Infrastructure Division in the East Asia Department of the Asian Development Bank, Zhongjing Wang, Chief Executive Officer of the MCDF and Shen Min, Deputy General Manager of the Global Finance Department of the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC).
The event was attended by over 200 participants worldwide, including representatives of governments, multilateral development banks, bilateral financial institutions, investment companies, research institutes, academies, and others.