Green financing

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Candice Stevens, 38

1. Chair 2. Head of innovative finance and policy
1. Sustainable Landscape Finance Coalition 2. Wilderness Foundation Africa

Candice Stevens decided that the most effective way she could help protect our natural resources was to find financial solutions for conservation. She is the chair of the Sustainable Landscape Finance Coalition (SLFC), a collaboration between the Wilderness Foundation Africa and the World Wide Fund for Nature, through which she finds nuanced solutions to varied ecological obstacles.

Stevens studied law and finance, and specialised in tax and tax law, but decided to rededicate her time and energy.

The SLFC has six projects in incubation, which include two separate tax incentives for the protection and management of endangered species, a carbon payments system tailored for our grassland biospheres, biodiversity offsets, municipal property rebates for greening cities and debt solutions for conservation institutes.

The project that has gone to scale is the 37D biodiversity tax incentive, which allows citizens to claim tax back on land that is declared a national reserve or park. It is introducing $83-million in new finance to South Africa’s protected areas and has garnered international recognition.

“Everyone has a unique combination of skills and passions that make them perfectly suited to fill a gap; you just have to find the gap that you can perfectly fill.”

“Everyone has a unique combination of skills and passions that make them perfectly suited to fill a gap — you just have to find the gap that you can perfectly fill.”

Anita Makgetla | mg.co.za
Nedbank CIB Carbon Trading Desk

Nedbank CIB Carbon Trading Desk

Nedbank CIB Carbon Trading Desk

Carbon has become the catalyst and life raft for several green projects in Africa, and Nedbank CIB’s Carbon Trading Desk has played a pivotal role in this. In spite of Covid-19 forcing a slowdown, many projects and communities have benefited significantly from the cash flow received via the sale of carbon credits, produced from organic waste and composting projects for community grazing and forestry projects. In the absence of carbon revenue, some of these projects would have been suspended, to the detriment of developers, communities, the environment, the habitat of local wildlife and the world.

Nedbank is committed to the transformation of the South African energy system and continues to align its business activities with the commitments made by South Africa under the 2015 Paris Agreement. Specific focus is applied to achieving a net zero carbon economy and ensuring energy Nedbank CIB believes that climate change is one of the defining systemic issues of the 21st century and encourages younger generations to engage with their communities, public sector entities and service providers about opportunities to address the Sustainable Development Goals through partnerships and collaboration. Simply put, we are all jointly responsible for alleviating the risk of climate change for current and future generations. security. The aim is to play a leading role in addressing climate change in ways that are sensitive to the local context, which includes climate vulnerability, development is unlocking resources that have, until now, been neglected; this is paramount for delivering access to clean, affordable, safe and efficient energy services across the continent.

Nedbank CIB believes that climate change is one of the defining systemic issues of the 21st century and encourages younger generations to engage with their communities, public sector entities and service providers about opportunities to address the Sustainable Development Goals through partnerships and collaboration. Simply put, we are all jointly responsible for alleviating the risk of climate change for current and future generations.

“The aim is to play a leading role in addressing climate change in ways that are sensitive to the local context, which includes climate vulnerability, development imperatives and structural economic challenges.”

Loren Shapiro | mg.co.za
Andrew Johnstone, 57

Andrew Johnstone, 57

Director and chief executive
Climate Fund Managers

Andrew Johnstone is the managing director and chief executive of Climate Fund Managers, an innovative organisation facilitating climate investing through blended finance. His work involves directing investment into projects that contribute purposefully to the battle against climate change, and build infrastructure as a means to mitigate the effects of climate change.

According to Johnstone, we are losing the battle every day and it is too late to maintain the world in its current status. However, he believes we can still make a difference and that it is not too late to sustain humankind.

“We are on an exponential trajectory that is compounded. Time is critical,” he says.

The world is continually in a state of flux and the key is coming to terms with how we change with it. Climate change is a force that is much greater than ourselves and under which we have no choice but to adapt.

“We can no longer mitigate it; we have to adapt to the consequences. In the past, we had the ability to mitigate consequences by avoiding them. Climate change is now beyond our control.”

According to Johnstone, we live on and interact with our planet through an incremental system based on consumption. The world has learned to operate to a scale that accommodates seven billion people. “In order to sustain humanity, we now need to find a way in which we consume differently, either in the form of less or in the form of different, sustainable consumption,” says Johnstone.

“We are moving into a world that is profoundly different to the one in which we live now.”

 

“Ultimately, one wants to be involved with things that are real and that one feels one can make a difference in. That resonance of fundamental purpose is the reason I get up every morning.”

Carol Chamberlain | mg.co.za
Jack Radmore, 31

Jack Radmore, 31

Energy and climate finance programme manager
GreenCape

Jack Radmore is passionate about the green economy and uncompromising in his aim to provide energy to those who need it most.

A master’s degree in economics and sustainable development led to his current role as the energy programme manager at GreenCape — an organisation that drives the widespread adoption of economically viable green economy solutions from the Western Cape, with hopes of expanding throughout the developing world in the next five years.

At GreenCape, Radmore is responsible for managing the strategic direction of the company’s renewable energy-related activities in South Africa and around the continent. He advises key local, provincial and national government organisations on how green infrastructure can best interface with government institutions, businesses and academia. Through his work, he has identified and removed barriers to economically viable energy and energy efficient interventions.

GreenCape has helped facilitate and support investments to the value of R42-billion in renewable energy projects and manufacturing. From these investments, more than 19 000 local jobs have been created.

Radmore has also developed and is leading South Africa’s first dedicated off-grid management unit to provide energy services to impoverished off-grid communities in South Africa. The unit is currently servicing three sites and empowering more than 6 000 people.

“Combining energy innovations with informal settlement upgrading gives us the opportunity to help with eradicating some of the unnecessary challenges faced by energy-poor South Africans,” he says.

Radmore is currently hosting the 2021 climate finance accelerator (CFA) workshop. The CFA has announced 13 innovative low-carbon projects that it will support to access finance from investors following a call for proposals that attracted 120 applications. The CFA is part of the UK government’s efforts to help South Africa tackle climate change through a transition to greener technologies.

“Combining energy innovations with informal settlement upgrading gives us the opportunity to eradicate some of the unnecessary challenges faced by energy-poor South Africans.”

Tshiamo Seape | mg.co.za
Siyanda Siko, 36

Siyanda Siko, 36

Country coordinator
Partnership for Action on Green Economy

For the past seven years, Siyanda Siko has been South Africa’s country coordinator for the UN Partnership for Action on Green Economy (Page). Through Page, Siko facilitates programmes that attempt to guide South Africa towards a greener and more sustainable future.

South Africa joined Page in 2015 as a means of supporting the country’s transition to a low carbon, resource efficient and pro-employment development plan. Its three primary objectives are to encourage increased collaboration and coordination in developing green policy and planning, to identify and enable sector reform where necessary while empowering existing green economy sectors, and to increase green economy training and understanding through knowledge sharing and partnerships with national learning institutions. Through these objectives, Page seeks to assist in the eradication of poverty, encourage job creation and social equity, improve livelihoods, and support environmental stewardship and sustainable growth.

Recent Page projects led by Siko include the post-Covid-19 green recovery modelling project and the Imvelisi enviropreneur programme.

The post-Covid-19 green recovery modelling project was centred on developing strategies to temper the socioeconomic impacts of Covid-19. Page South Africa took part in a rapid modelling exercise in which analysts from around the world compared recovery packages from different countries to understand both immediate and long-term effects. The intention of the modelling exercise was to provide insight and technical support for greening South Africa’s economic recovery packages.

The Imvelisi enviropreneur programme focuses on helping transform green business ideas into workable business proposals that can be presented to and supported by incubators and funders. Through education, mentoring, networking and a boot camp, the programme seeks to create opportunities for environmental entrepreneurs to develop green solutions for socioeconomic problems, especially in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children” — RW Emerson.

Anita Makgetla | mg.co.za
Megan van Vlaanderen, 40

Megan van Vlaanderen, 40

Advisory committee member
The Green Outcomes Fund

The Green Outcomes Fund incentivises local South African fund managers to increase investment in green small, medium and micro enterprises (SMMEs). Created in response to a lack of investment in small companies championing green outcomes-based innovations, design partners — including GreenCape, the University of Cape Town’s Bertha Centre for Social Innovation, South Africa’s World Wide Fund for Nature and the World Bank’s climate technology programme — got together to provide a first-of-its-kind solution. The current pilot phase is a partnership signed between the national treasury’s jobs fund and GreenCape.

In total, R488.1-million has been raised by the Green Outcomes Fund through its partners. This is a significant achievement, considering how, historically, little to no financing has been available to green SMMEs.

During Covid-19, the Green Outcomes Fund worked hard to ensure the green economy was not forgotten. It partnered with the European Union’s Partnership Instrument and the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety in the context of the International Climate Initiative to run a Covid-19 relief and resilience project to support several SMMEs over this time. According to Van Vlaanderen, who sits on the advisory board, the project was a great success. “We saw a 5% job growth emerge from these 12 businesses – it was incredible.”

One of the biggest misconceptions the Green Outcomes Fund faces is that green businesses are not financially viable. Van Vlaanderen claims that the fund wants to change this mind-set. The Green Outcomes Fund is instrumental in encouraging more green businesses to apply for funding and more fund managers to invest in green businesses.

Despite the challenges still faced by the environmental sustainability sector, the case for green innovation is strong. Not only does it support conservation and climate action, but it also plays a massive role in driving employment in South Africa. “There are many viable opportunities out there that make business sense. Investing in green businesses doesn’t have to be a loss. We need to change that narrative,” says Van Vlaanderen.

“There are many viable opportunities out there that make business sense. Investing in green businesses doesn’t have to be a loss. We need to change this narrative.”

Loren Shapiro | mg.co.za