UNEP, BNP Paribas partner on sustainable projects

UNEP Executive Director,<br />Erik Solheim


United Nations Environment and BNP Paribas have signed a milestone agreement at the One Planet Summit to establish Sustainable Finance Facilities, collaborative partnerships aimed at raising development capital to drive sustainable economic growth in emerging countries.

The two organisations will collaborate to identify suitable commercial projects with measurable environmental and social impact, with a target of capital funding amounting to USD 10 billion by 2025 in developing countries.

The aim is to support smallholder projects related to renewable energy access, agroforestry, water access and responsible agriculture among other sustainable activities.

The Sustainable Finance Facilities programme is the first of its kind in terms of collaboration between companies, investors, development sector partners, and civil society organisations, with the support of national governments.

The Memorandum of Understanding was signed today between Erik Solheim, Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme and Jean-Laurent Bonnafé, Chief Executive Officer of BNP Paribas at the One Planet Summit under the patronage of the President of the French Republic, Emmanuel Macron.This landmark agreement is fully in line with both UN Environment’s and BNP Paribas’ commitments to developing meaningful and sustainable projects addressing environmental and social challenges in emerging countries.

This agreement builds on the Tropical Landscapes Financing Facility, a partnership between UN Environment, BNP Paribas, World Agroforestry Centre and ADM Capital in Indonesia.

UN Environment and BNP Paribas will scale the collaborative effort by establishing Sustainable Finance Facilities in many more developing countries, with a target capital funding amount of US$10 billion by 2025.

Through sourcing funding from third party global investors, and arranging and issuing green loans, Sustainable Finance Facilities will help channel finance from the private sector to fund sustainable economic development in emerging countries.

Projects focused on rural smallholder productivity enhancement, rural renewable electrification and forest landscape restoration and protection will support national climate and sustainable development commitments, build climate resilience, and help countries and communities achieve targets for food, water and energy security. Projects will recognise the vital role of relevant stakeholders, in particular women, indigenous peoples and local communities in all areas of sustainable growth and the need for their full and effective participation.

The projects could include the restoration of degraded agriculture landscapes through agro-forestry, the improvement of small-holder agriculture or renewable energy investments in rural areas, in particular to replace charcoal. Climate-smart agriculture, stopping deforestation and restoring forests and landscapes at significant scale could together contribute over 30 per cent to the achievement of the Paris Agreement.

BNP Paribas will continue to act as the capital markets adviser and structuring adviser to Sustainable Finance Facilities as they are established, and will bring institutional investor capital to participate in the programme.

UN Environment will ensure that environmental and social impacts of projects are positive and significant, and are at the heart of the work of the Sustainable Finance Facilities. With this agreement, signed at the One Planet Summit, BNP Paribas reinforces its commitment to bringing pioneering financial solutions at scale and helping the UN achieve the 17 Sustainable Development Goals and advance the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

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