An increasing cost of capital and limited access to public markets restrict the prospect for efficient sovereign debt issuance in less developed countries - with debt levels close 100% of GDP globally (source). We are actively innovating finance mechanisms that tie new sovereign debt issuance and refinancing to nature and climate performance. These mechanisms bring countries closer to nature and to meeting climate objectives by rewarding progress with debt relief (for example, through reduced coupon rate or principal adjustment). These new instruments deliver value for citizens and, through relief measures, break the undesirable cycle of debt and debt servicing, characteristic of conventional debt issuance. A critical component of success in this work is to ensure close collaboration with relevant national governments and foundations, and to understand how solutions may be scaled effectively through private sector involvement. Read more about our debt work here.
Retrofit and built environment
Globally, buildings are a major source of energy consumption and related pollutant emissions (source). Decarbonising the built environment is a multi-stakeholder issue which is consistently at the centre of our work with cities and local authorities. Our team has worked extensively with numerous cities around Europe developing solutions on topics such as residential, energy-efficiency and large-scale home renovation. We have designed city level-solutions for Milan and Zagreb and worked extensively with the cities of Copenhagen, Leuven, Vienna, Krakow and Edinburgh. One such solutions is the Green Neighbourhoods as a Service (“GNaaS”) concept which establishes a central contracting entity in a city or region that designs, commissions, manages and funds deep energy retrofit on a street-by-street basis with incremental community investments at no cost to the property owners, regardless of ownership and usage typology. Read more about GNaaS here and here.
Energy is the driving force of modern societies and, with the sector contributing to nearly two-thirds of all greenhouse gas emissions, the energy transition is a fundamental response to the climate crisis (source). Renewable energy financing has increased exponentially over the past decade; however, we still face a major challenge in creating sustainable energy systems that meet modern society’s needs. We are applying our financial innovation expertise to this sector in order to develop financing methods that can scale new sustainable energy production around the world including battery storage and grid management. BwB has experience in the development, structuring and financing of a range of conventional and unconventional renewable energy solutions.
One-third of total urban greenhouse gas emissions in major cities is generated by transport. Reducing urban mobility emissions therefore provides a significant opportunity to decarbonise our cities (source). However, it requires citywide integration, network development and full supply chain innovation. Innovative business models and pioneering technology can enable cities toward achieving net-zero targets. BwB has been developing finance solutions in this area that include a range of payment mechanisms, co-benefit analysis and funding structures to meet the aspirations of cities, countries and citizens.
Food & Agriculture
Our current food system and methods of agriculture cannot continue without significant socio-environmental consequences and deepened inequities. It is a primary driver of biodiversity loss, ecosystem degradation and greenhouse gas emissions (source). Private finance can provide catalytic support for innovation in agriculture to ensure that food production can sustainably keep pace with increasing populations. We work closely with multi-stake holder platforms to advise on policy, private sector engagement and thought leadership in this sector.
Circular Economy & Bio-based Construction
It is expected that new construction will cause embodied emissions of over 100 gigatons of carbon by 2060 - total emissions from transport in 2020, were 8 gigatons of carbon (source). We are working with city administrations, local industry partners and citizens to create the optimal conditions to enable mainstreaming embodied carbon neutrality in construction through circular strategies and bio-based construction. Read more about our projects here and here.
Utilising nature effectively to combat the extensive social and environmental challenges faced by society provides elegant solutions to complex issues, while also generating co-benefits. We have been researching and analysing nature-based solutions (“NBS”) in geographies and environments around the world, leveraging this to identify new strategies to finance NBS. In particular, we are focusing on new structures that allow finance to flow and pricing in the cost-savings of co-benefits that NBS provide.
There was a 68% decline in species populations among mammals, birds, amphibians, reptiles and fish from 1970 to 2016 (source). Biodiversity loss is as significant a threat to modern society as the climate crisis. Creating financial solutions to biodiversity is complex but a growing area for private sector engagement. We have worked with foundations and several national governments around the world to innovate finance mechanisms that drive biodiversity outcomes. Our work has focused on incentivizing biodiversity protection and stimulus through financing mechanisms, aligning new debt issuance to nature outcomes. This work has the been the catalyst for broader biodiversity projects and financial innovation which we are expanding significantly. Read more about our work here.
Overfishing, plastic pollution and other forms of marine degradation are threatening marine ecosystems and essential food systems (source). BwB has worked on ground-breaking financial instruments that facilitate marine conservation, promote sustainable fisheries and engage communities. There is significant opportunity to scale and replicate such solutions, broadening the impact and extending protection to new geographies.
Financing Climate Innovation
Entrepreneurship is a critical tool in the fight against the climate crisis. It is clear that new technologies, business models and market innovation are essential to meet net-zero targets (source). BwB has a wide range of experience stimulating innovative, impactful start-up and SME ecosystems. This includes strategies to drive forward new business models and technologies through the development of fund structures. We layer different sources of capital, with varied risk and return profiles that provide necessary funding to impact driven enterprises.
Countries and municipalities around the world are developing and refining more ambitious net-zero targets in line with broader global objectives to reduce carbon emissions. Over 700 cities in 53 countries have committed to halve emissions by 2030 and become net-zero by 2050 (source). We have been heavily involved in creating municipal mechanisms to assist cities in achieving these objectives across Europe. These have been designed to drive a “green” recovery economic recovery and stimulate shifts in mobility to meet net-zero targets.
Financing a Nature COVID-19 Response
The impact of COVID-19 will be felt for many years to come in numerous ways. It is imperative that the economic stimulus worth trillions of dollars is utilised to build back better (source). Our team is also developing a financial mechanism to support cities suffering the worst economic effects of COVID-19. This will fund projects in South-eastern Europe.
To respond effectively to the climate crisis (source). As a not-for-profit, BwB has always emphasized the importance of knowledge sharing, open source dissemination and education. We have created a range of educational content for financial and non-financial stakeholders to include: understanding capital markets, financial structuring, financial modelling and key transaction milestones / process across a range of geographies and asset classes.