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SEDF Backs Allied Climate Partners

Anna Lyudvig
April 16, 2024, 7:54 p.m.
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The Soros Economic Development Fund (SEDF), the impact investment arm of the Open Society Foundations, has committed $25m to Allied Climate Partners (ACP)—a new and innovative public-private partnership focused on increasing the number of bankable climate projects in emerging markets and developing economies around the world.

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The Soros Economic Development Fund (SEDF), the impact investment arm of the Open Society Foundations, has committed $25m to Allied Climate Partners (ACP)—a new and innovative public-private partnership focused on increasing the number of bankable climate projects in emerging markets and developing economies around the world.

ACP aims to address a critical financin gap at the early, risk-oriented stages of the development process. Without this support, many projects and businesses struggle to attract the necessary capital to achieve their climate-related goals. While early-stage project development represents the smallest portion of the overall funding needed for a project (approximately 5%), relatively few early-stage projects get financed due to risk. Even though 5 percent of the capital can unlock 95%, this early-stage capital is the hardest to raise for critical activities like technical and environmental assessments, modeling, permitting, and land acquisition. 

Using funds from SEDF and other philanthropic investors, ACP will anchor a number of regional funds in Southeast Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, and India with $235m first-loss junior equity. These regional funds will in turn seek to raise an additional $600+ million in senior equity from multilateral development banks (MDBs), development finance institutions (DFIs), and private investors.

ACP has strategic partnerships with a number of leading MDBs and DFIs, including the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC), British International Investment (BII), the U.K.'s DFI and impact investor, the African Development Bank (AfDB), Proparco, a subsidiary of Agence Française de Développement Group, FMO, the Dutch Entrepreneurial Development Bank, and IDB Invest, a member of the Inter-American Development Bank Group.

Philanthropic investments in ACP are expected to mobilize a significant level of third-party capital into regional investment managers and climate-related projects—potentially as much as $11bn in additional investment.

SEDF has partnered with the Three Cairns Group, Bezos Earth Fund, Sea Change Foundation International, and several other philanthropic and investment partners in making this commitment.

Georgia Levenson Keohane, CEO of the Soros Economic Development Fund, said: “This innovative SEDF investment builds on Open Society’s broader work to support the mobilization of development finance and commercial capital critical for financing a just climate transition in the Global South.”

Mark Malloch-Brown, president of the Open Society Foundations, said, “The scale of investment needed to drive climate transition and adaptation in Global South economies clearly goes far beyond the capacities of private philanthropic funding. We are excited about this model which seeks to use catalytic funding to remove barriers, and help kick start the broader systemic shifts the world urgently needs.”

“We urgently need innovative blended finance solutions that can operate at scale,” said Ahmed Saeed, CEO of Allied Climate Partners. “ACP welcomes SEDF’s commitment to join this exciting endeavor to leverage the power of philanthropic funding.”

 

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