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UN Special Envoy Michael Bloomberg Joins Forces with Bancolombia and BBVA to Launch CFLI Colombia in Support of Colombia’s Climate Goals

CFLI Colombia will help accelerate climate finance flows in Colombia and build a pipeline of bankable climate solutions and wider investment opportunities

According to BloombergNEF, Colombia reached $785 million in new investment flows towards clean energy in 2021

– UN Special Envoy Michael R. Bloomberg today announced a new initiative co-chaired by Bancolombia and BBVA that will convene the private finance sector to support transformational climate action in Colombia. CFLI Colombia is the first Latin American CFLI Country Pilot, a program that enables a private-sector led and country-specific approach to mobilizing climate finance at scale. The CFLI Country Pilots are designed to identify and accelerate both financial and policy solutions to move capital into sectors and activities that are critical to achieving a low-carbon, climate resilient economy.

CFLI Colombia will engage with the Colombian public sector, multilateral development banks, and the private sector to catalyze private investment into climate solutions to support the transition of Colombia’s economy. It will support both Colombia’s long-term development and its Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) under the Paris Agreement, which includes a commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 51% by 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.

CFLI Colombia will be co-chaired by Juan Carlos Mora Uribe, Chief Executive Officer of Bancolombia, and Mario Pardo Bayona, Chief Executive Officer, BBVA Colombia, and will be comprised of major private sector Colombian and multi-national corporates and financial institutions. The partnership will be supported by a Secretariat led by Bloomberg, the City of London Corporation, and the Global Infrastructure Facility.

“This initiative can help Colombia accelerate its transition to clean energy, and adapt to climate change, by knocking down barriers to investment and aligning financing around important projects. It will also help to create a blueprint for other countries in the region to speed up their progress,” – Michael R. Bloomberg, UN Special Envoy on Climate Ambition and Solutions, Chair, Climate Finance Leadership Initiative

“We are aware of the role of the private sector to mobilize capital and initiatives to accelerate the transition to a low-carbon economy. Partnerships such as CFLI allow us to continue joining efforts and delivering a greater impact. Climate solutions are essential for Bancolombia and one of our main priorities is supporting companies in their sustainable and decarbonization plans with various finance mechanisms,” – Juan Carlos Mora Uribe, Chief Executive Officer of Bancolombia

“At BBVA we are convinced of Colombia’s potential in the development of sustainable projects and activities. Colombia can and should be a world power in this field for the richness and productivity of its territory. And now through this alliance, of which we are a part, we hope to contribute to the fulfillment of the country’s environmental goals. Likewise, we will be very pleased to share our knowledge as part of a financial group like BBVA with a strong commitment to sustainability in order to move towards a more inclusive, fair and sustainable future,” Mario Pardo Bayona, Chief Executive Officer, BBVA Colombia.

Colombia has some of the highest renewable energy potential in Latin America and will see rapid growth in clean energy and other low-carbon sectors over the next decade. According to BloombergNEF, in 2022 Colombia will kick off a multi-year renewable energy boom that will increase the country’s wind and solar capacity by a factor of 13 from 2021 levels (353MW) in the next four years. From 2011 to 2020, Colombia attracted $1.4 billion in clean energy investments and received a record $785 million of investment in 2021 alone. However, Colombia will need substantially more investment to deliver its queue of wind farms awaiting financing.

Colombia’s rich biodiversity also creates significant opportunities for nature-based solutions to curb greenhouse gas emissions and build climate resilience. The country hosts ~10% of global biodiversity, with endemic species across both Andean and Amazonian ecosystems. Given Colombia’s high exposures to climate risks, building resilience in the Colombian economy and the environment will be crucial to minimizing the impacts of extreme weather events.

CFLI Colombia follows the success of CFLI India, and is aligned with the goal of replicating this model in other countries in the years ahead. CFLI is a featured initiative of the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero, a global coalition of financial sector institutions working together to accelerate the world’s transition to net-zero greenhouse gas emissions.

“This partnership is a huge step forward for Colombia and hopefully a template for the rest of the world to follow. Unlocking private capital is key for the developing world to transition to net-zero. This was a key area of discussion during our event at COP26 where $130tn of private capital was committed to hitting net zero emissions targets by 2050. London and the UK are world leaders in green finance. We want to utilise our expertise to assist Colombia on its journey to carbon neutrality by 2050.” – Vincent Keaveny, Lord Mayor of the City of London

“The path towards net zero in emerging markets requires collective action and innovative, comprehensive solutions to unlock sustainable and bankable infrastructure pipelines. As a core member of CFLI Colombia, the GIF remains committed to supporting the government through our MDB partners to develop tailored, country-driven solutions that can accelerate private climate finance at scale.” – Jason Lu, Head, Global Infrastructure Facility

About the Climate Finance Leadership Initiative (CFLI)
The Climate Finance Leadership Initiative (CFLI) convenes leading companies to mobilize and scale private capital for climate solutions. Michael R. Bloomberg formed the CFLI at the request of the United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres. Founding members of the CFLI include Allianz Global Investors, AXA, Bloomberg, Enel, Goldman Sachs, Japan’s Government Pension Investment Fund (GPIF), HSBC, and Macquarie.

Since early 2019, the CFLI, under Michael R. Bloomberg’s leadership, has worked to identify barriers and solutions to mobilizing climate finance at scale, particularly in high-emitting countries, industries, and sectors. This includes an ambitious agenda for public and private-sector engagement to strengthen investment conditions for private finance. The group, responsible for $6.2 trillion in assets, launched its first Country Pilot program in 2021 in India, has published thought leadership and research on this topic, as well as partnered with groups like the Global Infrastructure Facility (GIF) and the Association of European Development Finance Institutions (EDFI) to build project pipelines, manage risks, and broaden opportunities for private sector financing and investment in emerging markets.

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About Bloomberg
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About Bancolombia
Bancolombia is a financial group with 147 years of experience that operates in Colombia and Central America, serving more than 25 million clients with financial and non-financial products and services. It includes a full range of banking solutions, trading, trusts, asset management, leasing, factoring, and investment banking, among others. To generate a positive impact in the community, the organization is driven by its purpose of promote sustainable economic development to achieve everyone´s well-being.

About BBVA
BBVA is a customer-centric global financial services group founded in 1857. The Group has a strong leadership position in the Spanish market, is the largest financial institution in Mexico and it has leading franchises in South America. It is also the leading shareholder in Turkey’s Garanti BBVA and has an important investment, transactional and capital markets banking business in the U.S. Its purpose is to bring the age of opportunities to everyone, based on our customers’ real needs: provide the best solutions, helping them make the best financial decisions, through an easy and convenient experience. The institution rests in solid values: Customer comes first, we think big and we are one team. Its responsible banking model aspires to achieve a more inclusive and sustainable society.