simon zadek

I participated in an array of public and private sessions at Cancun covering topics ranging from climate finance and green growth in developing countries to REDD+ funds and sustainable land use, and carbon markets.





“GET FiT: De-risking Clean Energy Business Models in a Developing Country Context
4 December – 14.15 – 17.15, Ritz Carlton, Cancun


Deutsche Bank (DB) first introduced the Global Energy Transfer Feed-in Tariffs (GET FiT) programme in April 2010 to help facilitate the installation of Feed in Tariffs in developing countries. GET FiT looks to combine public financing with the experience of national and international partners to help address project development and remove financing barriers in developing countries.

At a workshop held as part of the World Climate Summit, DB supported by UNEP’s Finance Initiative brought together a finance panel followed by three case studies. The focus of the workshop was both on enabling energy access for lesser developed countries and achieving larger scale in more developed countries by de-risking the project finance as far as possible in order to encourage private sector investments.

I’m team leader of the South African government’s South African Renewables Initiative (SARi) and SARi was presented as a case study at the GET FiT workshop based on the update briefing – Unlocking South Africa’s Green Growth Potential, published in December 2010 by the South African government’s Department for Trade and Industry (DTI). The briefing was prepared by a team supporting the development of SARi, working with the Department for Trade and Industry, the Department for Public Enterprises and WWF South Africa. Dr Edwin Ritchkin, Special Project Advisor to the Ministers of Public Enterprise provides oversight and guidance on behalf of the Minister of Trade and Industry. A summary of the update briefing is also available.

The briefing outlines SARi’s core design and economic model which over the past year, has been developed and road tested through commissioned research and extensive consultation with experts and key stakeholders in the public and private sector, incuding workshops with government officials, industry and technology experts, and public and private finance providers, both in South Africa and internationally. It has also benefited from international support and knowledge networks such as those coordinated by Project Catalyst, Deutsche Bank’s ‘Get FiT’ Initiative, and the World Economic Forum’s ‘Critical Mass’ Project.

This work builds on a working paper released earlier in 2010 by the same team, in association with WWF South Africa, with funding from the UK government’s Department for International Development (DFID) and support from the Climate Works Foundation through Project Catalyst. The working paper SARi – Advancing South Africa’s Low Carbon Industrial and Economic Strategy sets out the case and recommendations for enhancing South Africa’s industrial and economic policies by responding to climate change and associated risks and opportunities. It was prepared for the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the Department of Public Enterprises (DPE) of the Government of South Africa.

Related to this work is a Project Catalyst paper released in November 2010 which I’ve contributed to. From Climate Finance to Financing Green Growth outlines the benefits of green growth and the importance of developing the right policies to support a transition towards the low carbon economy. It assesses the financing needs of green growth in developing countries, the role of the financing described by the UN High Level Advisory Group on Climate Change (AGF) and how the climate finance systems should develop over the next decade. It finishes by illustrating why climate finance needs to be framed in the wider context of growth and development finance. Project Catalyst is an multi-organisation initiative to advance international co-operation in addressing climate change.

Quicklinks: South African Renewables Initiative | Project Catalyst: From Climate Finance to Financing Green Growth | Tomorrow’s History | Feed in(g) Renewables in South Africa | WEF’s Critical Mass Initiative




Green Solutions@COP16 – The Cancun Dialogue Series
5 -8 December – 11.30 -13.00

Hosted by the Secretariat of Foreign Affairs and Secretariat of the Economy of Mexico in partnership with the World Economic Forum (WEF)  as part of the wider Green Solutions@COP16, the series consisted of five moderated sessions, each of which discussed practical public-private solutions and scalable opportunities. The private sessions looked at: Business Leadership; Finance; REDD+ land use; Technology Development; and Energy Efficiency.

Session II on Finance – took place on Monday 6 December and focused on the investment challenge for low carbon infrastructure in developing countries and the need for a dimensional change in the flow of private capital into developing countries for clean energy projects.  Drawing on the findings of the High Level Group on Finance and other initiatives including the South African Renewables Initiative, discussions were held with government officials on how best to make these investment flows happen quickly and at scale.

Also on Monday 6 December was a session on REDD+ sustainable land use, facilitated by myself. The session explored the current state of the REDD+ sustainable land use policy agenda and project deal flow, and how more substantive private sector engagement could be triggered quickly and at scale. Related to work undertaken by myself, Maya Forstater and Fernanda Polacow in partnership with the Amazon Fund and supported by Fundación Avina on Brazil’s Amazon Fund, a climate finance fund designed to mobilize funding to support the combat of deforestation and sustainable management of forests -  set up by the Government of Brazil in 2009, and managed by the Brazilian National Development Bank (BNDES).

Participants at this session included government officials from Annex 1 and from key agricultural developing countries as well as representatives from the investment, NGO, and Foundation community.  Outcomes from the sessions will feed into the WEF Annual Meeting in Davos in January 2011 and towards COP17 in South Africa.

Quicklinks:Project Catalyst: From Climate Finance to Financing Green Growth| The Amazon Fund | Davos vs Copenhagen: It’s a knockout! | Video:Davos 2010 – Financing Low Carbon Growth




The Role of Trade and Markets in Addressing Climate Change and Sustainable Development – ICTSD Symposium
8-9 December, 8.30 -20.00, Azul Sensatori Hotel, Cancun



The International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development (ICTSD) convened this two day symposium with the aim of generating proposals for strong multilateral regimes on trade and climate change and promoting a transition to a low carbon economy and sustainable energy future. ICTSD’s primary objective is to empower stakeholders in the trade policy and sustainable development domain through providing a forum to generate innovative thinking and dialogues on pressing issues of the day.

As a member of ICTSD’s governing board I addressed the plenary session: ‘Trade, Climate and Sustainable Development: Where Policy Markets and Innovation Join Forces’ on 9 December, where I presented: Is accounting for carbon a new competitiveness challenge for business and countries? as a theme for discussion at the plenary.

The broad topics of the symposium were designed to respond to the principal issues at the nexus of trade policy, market approaches and climate change: mechanisms such as emissions trading schemes and sectoral market mechanisms; carbon leakage and competitiveness; intellectual property and technology transfer; climate friendly goods and services; biofuels; financing mechanisms; linkages between trade, poverty and climate change; fossil fuel subsidies; fisheries; standards; and a Latin American perspective on trade and climate change.

Quicklinks: Emerging Nations and Sustainability: Chimera or Leadership? | South African Renewables Initiative | Institutional Arrangements for Advancing Sustainable Low Carbon Growth and Development




Innovative Experiences from Latin America in Response to Climate Change and Preliminary Conclusions on COP16, according to Latin American Climate Change Leaders
9 December -20.15 -21.45
(GMT -6 hours) – LIVE broadcast

This public side event to COP16 hosted by FARN (Environment and Natural Resources Foundation, Argentina) addressed innovative tools for climate change mitigation, adaptation and financing in Latin America, such as Brazil’s Amazon Fund and the Yasuni-ITT Initiative.

I formed the panel along with leading Latin American figures on climate change: Yolanda Kakabadse President of WWF International and Chair of the Advisory Board of Fundación Futuro Latinoamericano; Tarsicio Granizo, responsible for the Yanusi initiative for Ecuador’s government; Leonardo Boff, renowned theologian, philosopher, writer, and environmentalist; Manuel Rodriguez Becerr, professor at the Faculty of Management, University of the Andes and international consultant on environmental policy.

The panel shared their perceptions on the preliminary results and conclusions of COP16 in Cancun through a live broadcast. Namely: what are the future challenges of climate negotiations? What are the opportunities for the countries in the region? What is Latin America’s capacity to innovate with new mechanisms to respond to climate change beyond the Yasuni initiative and the Amazon Fund? View the original event invite in spanish.

Amazon Fund Radical Simplicity Bold Ambition Working PaperMyself along with Maya Forstater and Fernanda Polacow have been working with the Amazon Fund over the past two years to understand the lessons learnt from the development and design of the early implementation of the initiative. Supported by Fundación Avina, the findings are summarised in a working paper The Amazon Fund: Radical Simplicity and Bold Ambition – National Institutions for Low Carbon Development that was presented for discussion at this side event.

The Amazon Fund’s design aims to ensure sufficient and appropriate accountability to local stakeholders and to funders but also, crucially, to direct funding towards projects and activities that catalyse a transformation towards low carbon development in the Amazon. The Fund has now awarded its first grants and is growing from being an ambitious start-up initiative to a fully operational part of Brazil’s institutional framework for managing the Amazon.

Radical Simplicity and Bold Ambition follows on from an earlier study: Radical Simplicity in Designing National Climate Institutions: Lessons from the Amazon Fund (2009).


Quicklinks: The Amazon Fund | Beyond Climate Finance: A Cancun Agenda | Project Catalyst: Low Carbon Growth Plans – Advancing Good Practice

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Simon will present an update briefing on the South Africa Renewables Initiative (SARi) as a case study at the workshop.

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