Press release: FaithInvest and Climate Investment Funds will announce plans to develop a new multi-faith fund tomorrow (Wednesday November 16) at COP27, which will, for the first time, enable faith groups to invest in large-scale, climate-smart projects to support a just transition for vulnerable communities.
The Multi-faith Just Transition Fund (MJTF) is a key initiative in a new multi-faith, multi-sector alliance to be announced at the same time to enable faith and secular partners to work together on climate action.
FaithInvest and Climate Investment Funds, one of the largest active climate finance mechanisms in the world, have been working on the exploratory phase of the MJTF for the past two years. Now we are moving to the development phase to support developing countries adapt to and mitigate climate change.
'We really need to mobilise ourselves in new strong, powerful partnerships in developing countries to deliver climate ambition which is closely aligned with development impacts' – Mafalda Duarte, Climate Investment Funds CEO
The new fund will be a first-of-its-kind, globally accessible financing vehicle that brings faith-based institutional asset owners of all backgrounds and religious traditions together with sovereign countries and regional development banks to finance at-scale, climate smart investments that are underpinned by social inclusion and just transition outcomes in primarily emerging and developing economies.
Faith groups have billions of dollars invested in the global stock markets. This fund will enable them to invest in large-scale projects that align with their values about supporting the vulnerable and protecting the living planet.
Potential examples could include supporting farmers in Bangladesh, which is highly vulnerable to rising sea levels and increased flooding, with saline-tolerant seeds and climate smart technologies. Or creating sustainable forestry initiatives in Ghana, which has lost more than 20% of its tree cover since 2000.
'To achieve the scale of investments necessary to turn the market towards a sustainable world and away from climate and biodiversity disaster, the faiths have to take up the challenge of putting their money where their mouths are! – Martin Palmer, FaithInvest CEO
FaithInvest CEO Martin Palmer said: 'To achieve the scale of investments necessary to turn the market towards a sustainable world and away from climate and biodiversity disaster, the faiths have to take up the challenge of putting their money where their mouths are!
'The Multi-Faith Just Transition Fund, a concept that has emerged from significant faith investment groups wanting to do more, is a huge step in the right direction and FaithInvest is delighted to be working with Climate Investment Funds to make this a reality.'
The MJTF is modelled on the $11.1 billion Climate Investment Funds (CIF), established in 2008 to support low-carbon and climate-resilient development in vulnerable countries.
CIF CEO Mafalda Duarte said: 'I am really excited at being able to launch the development of a much-needed Multi-faith Just Transition Fund. We really need to mobilise ourselves in new strong, powerful partnerships in developing countries to deliver climate ambition which is closely aligned with development impacts.
'The recipe is simple: it's using some of the capital of faith asset owners, partner that with the kind of capital we've been using in developing countries – risk, patient, concessional – and through this partnership target investments in developing countries that bring about development, climate and just transition outcomes.
'We are very much looking forward to seeing this mechanism – and the potential that it can bring about – come to fruition in the very near future.'
Find out what FaithInvest Founding President Martin Palmer and CIF CEO Mafalda Duarte said about why the fund is needed – and its potential impact – during the launch at COP 27 in these five-minute videos.
New Multi-faith/Multi-sector Alliance also to be launched at COP27
The MJTF is a key initiative in the new Multi-faith/Multi-sector Alliance for Climate Action that also will be announced on Wednesday November 16 at COP27. The Alliance will create a bridge between existing multi-faith actors and key secular actors (including governments, multilateral organisations, private sector etc) to advance collaboration on climate action.
Members include ACT Alliance, Brookings Institution, Climate Justice Institute, FaithInvest, Global Energy Alliance for People and Planet, GreenFaith, Mary Robinson Foundation, Partnership for Faith and Development, Religions for Peace, Rockefeller Foundation and UNEP's Faith for Earth.
The Alliance is a collaboration of the willing, sharing common goals and diverse experiences and networks, working together to elevate and add value to existing initiatives - it will focus on action areas to amplify ongoing secular and faith originated initiatives.
As well as the MJTF, other Alliance initiatives to be announced on Wednesday 16 include a Joint Clean Energy Access Communications and Advocacy Campaign; a Women and Youth-led Global Campaign to Meet Global Emissions Targets; and Engaging Faith-related Media and Communications Networks.
Watch the launch
The launch of the Multi-faith/Multi-sector Alliance for Climate Action is on Wednesday, November 16 at 14.00 (Cairo), 12.00 (London), 07.00 (New York). It will be livestreamed on YouTube. Watch via the link below.
Notes for editor
The Multi-faith Just Transition Fund builds on the 14+ year experience and business model of the CIF to make investments that foster transition to low-carbon and climate resilient economies and communities, and the 30+ year experience of FaithInvest and its parent organisation, the Alliance of Religions and Conservation, of working with every major faith tradition worldwide.
The MJTF has four key objectives:
Enable private investors to make investments in expanding social, human, and natural capital in developing countries
Promote values-driven investments focused on climate action while delivering value to investors (i.e., acceptable return)
Draw-in private sector capital at-scale to address the impacts of climate change while improving livelihoods and preserving ecosystems
Build engagement between private investors and other development finance partners
The MJTF will help create:
A ‘faith friendly’ climate investment platform consistent with values of faith inspired organisations spanning religious traditions and geographies
A fixed coupon rate for a risk-adjusted return
Diversification and lower transaction costs
Capital campaign targeting diverse faith inspired investors to match secular development ones
Market and investment knowledge sharing with MJTF partners
Pipeline of larger projects meeting rigorous environmental and social safeguards, and impact criteria
About FaithInvest and CIF
FaithInvest is a UK-based international NGO founded to empower the faiths to invest in line with their beliefs and values, for the benefit of people and planet. We support faith-based asset owners to develop faith-consistent investing policies and guidelines aligned to their values: www.faithinvest.org.
Faith groups have billions of dollars invested in the global stock markets. For example, the Mormon Church has assets of $100bn; US-based Wespath manages assets of $28bn USD on behalf of the United Methodist Church; the Church of England's Church Commissioners manage assets of £9.2bn and a Church pension fund >£3bn; Vatican Bank has EUR 5bn managed assets (EUR 3.3bn for third parties).
Climate Investment Funds (CIF) is one of the world's largest multilateral funds for climate action, helping low and middle income countries adapt to and mitigate climate change. Since 2008, it has supported more than 370 projects in 72 countries: www.cif.org.
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