What We’re Reading – Landscape Finance Edition – Winter 2022

by | December 19, 2022 | 1000L News, Finance and Economics, Finance Team Newsletter

Activity continues to bubble over in the world of landscape finance, systems-change finance and the many related fields of place-based investment. Together with 1000L co-convener EcoAgriculture Partners, the 1000L Finance Solutions Design Team is working to reimagine ways to fund landscape-level change, so we think it’s important to stay well-informed about the latest innovations and actors operating in this constantly evolving space.  

These are the landscape finance-relevant developments and reports that caught our eye over the latter part of 2022. 

News & Developments

Countries at COP27 Reach Agreement on Loss and Damage Fund

In a meaningful step forward, government leaders moved to establish a loss and damage fund to support vulnerable nations after extensive negotiations at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) COP 27. Although many details still need to be determined, the fund will provide financial assistance to countries most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. 

Rockefeller Foundation Awards Grants That Prioritize Scaling Up Regenerative Agriculture

Recognizing the crucial need to scale up regenerative agriculture and Indigenous practices, the Rockefeller Foundation awarded ten grants for more than $11 million at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP27). The flagship grant, for Regen 10’s work in food systems, will support landscape leaders and seeks to finance landscape-level outcomes.

Debt-for-nature Swaps Increasingly Tapped as Part of Climate Finance Solution

The Ecuadorian, Sri Lankan and Cape Verdean governments are all exploring large “debt-for-nature” deals that would protect vast areas of fragile ecosystems in return for debt reduction. Although negotiations are ongoing, the debt reductions could fund establishment of marine and terrestrial protected areas, including in the Galapagos Island in Ecuador. This article also highlights the role development banks and credit guarantees can play in supporting these types of debt-for-nature exchanges. 

Biodiversity Equity Strategy Announced by Asset Manager Robeco (behind paywall)

A new strategy will invest in equities that support the sustainable use of ecosystem services and natural resources. Targeting EUR 3 billion in assets, the fund will also invest in public companies with technologies and services that could reverse threats to biodiversity or support restoration.

New Mutual Bank Focuses on Sustainable Food Systems and Place-Based Investment

The US FDIC recently approved a new bank focused on sustainable farms and food systems. With a focus on place-based investing and local food systems, Walden Mutual Bank is the first new mutual bank – a bank without shareholders – to be approved in the US in 50 years.

 

Reports

Landscape Enterprise Networks (LENs): A Blueprint 

LENs are an innovative financial mechanism that creates a marketplace for large corporations to fund regenerative landscape activities through a series of contracts or “trades”. 1000 Landscapes for 1 Billion People Finance Solutions design team published a report exploring how LENs delivers funding for multiple outcomes in landscapes. For example, LENs conducts extensive network opportunity analyses with corporations and other demand-side actors to identify optimal intervention points. 

Recommendations for delivering the European Green Deal (Draft Open for Comment)

This report by 1000L partner Commonland includes conversation on unlocking landscape finance by combined action, and the need for results-based payments around carbon, biodiversity and other environmental and social outcomes. Integrated landscape strategies are extensively referenced.

Global Landscape of Climate Finance: A Decade of Data

Documenting and quantifying the ascendant growth in global climate finance over the 2011-21 decade, this Climate Policy Initiative report also provides a timeline of major developments throughout that time period. Climate finance flows are broken down by sources and intermediaries, instruments, uses, and sectors.

Climate Finance Innovation in a High Interest Rate World

This Abt Associates white paper first covers the consequences of rising interest rates for climate finance in developing markets, including drop-offs in private investment activity, constrained discretionary budgets for governments, and challenges to raising international funds. The report then shares strategies for climate financiers to counter these challenges, such as partnering with lenders in emerging markets to replace distressed debt with new climate-linked loans.

Integrating climate and nature: The rationale for financial institutions

Written as a guide for financial institutions to best integrate climate-related risks and degradation of nature in planning, this paper from the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership identifies risks and opportunities  that could be missed if these issues are not addressed together. For example, the authors identify the need for active participation of a wide range of stakeholders in the development of frameworks and data sets.

Financing the Transition to Regenerative Agriculture in the EU

In exploring how to accelerate the transition to regenerative agriculture in the European Union (EU), investment advisor Clarmondial discusses the role of innovative financing mechanisms. Cross-sectoral collaboration and additional investment in data collection are two key needs.

We hope you’ve found this newsletter helpful, and welcome your feedback. 

We invite you to share insightful reports and news developments as you come across them. Please reach out to dhecht@ecoagriculture.org

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