| On Wednesday 19 April at the World Bank headquarters in Washington, AER, R20 and other allies took part in the Sustainable Infrastructure Foundation annual meeting.
The aim of the event was the launch of a global scale software that supports the preparation of high quality infrastructure projects in a transparent and efficient way. This new tool, named SOURCE, will help regions submit projects, in one recognised and standardised format by all development banks and will therefore facilitate access to finance.
AER was invited to represent subnational governments in Europe and was represented by AER vice president treasurer Magnus Berntsson. Following COP22 in Marrakech, AER was one of the main partners of R20 and the Leonardo Di Caprio foundation in their mission to identify 100 renewable energy, energy efficiency and waste management infrastructure projects around the world.
In his speech, Mr Berntsson pointed out that AER identified 36 of the targeted 100 projects from a wide variety of regions, including Italy, Portugal, Serbia, Switzerland, Turkey and Sweden.
This exercise of project identification was successful and attracted 36 well-designed projects in only 3 weeks in the middle of the summer. This is because regions have portfolios of green projects ready. Projects that only need to secure financing to be put into practice. On top of the 36 European projects, another 600 projects from the rest of the world were received by the R20-led coalition.
This sent a strong message to investors: strong subnational green projects do exist and await investments.
Magnus Berntsson also declared:
European regions are diverse. Some are very well connected to Brussels and to the way that the European Investment Bank and European Commission are working. It is therefore reasonably easy for them to take advantage of pubic investment resources available for green infrastructure projects, through for instance EFSI, a part of the Junker investment plan. However, many other regions are simply unable to invest in training their civil servants. This is part of the reason why they are doing so poorly in attracting the European funds they are entitled to. The SOURCE training that will be made available after the Washington event will help in that respect.
Founder of R20 Regions of Climate Action & Former Governor of California Mr. Arnold Schwarzenegger delivered an impactful video message to the attendees asserting his commitment to transitioning away from polluting fossil fuels towards a clean energy future through building a road map to a sustainable world for all:
Smart money is in clean energy, in solar, wind, geo-thermal & hydro. The best investment strategy is based on the world we will have 50 years from now, not the world that we had 50 years ago.
The following declaration was signed by Mr Berntsson, on behalf of AER, in Washington, marking the will of subnational governments throughout the world to be considered as key and trustworthy partners to attract further green financing.