Climate Finance and Climate Policy at adelphi

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To tackle a global problem like climate change, we need large levers to achieve tangible results. Climate policy and finance are two such levers, and two of adelphi’s main fields of action.


As the climate crisis progresses and the need for decisive action is ever more urgent, heads of state, international institutions and NGOs from all over the world meet in Glasgow for the COP26. But climate action is not confined to high-level summits – indeed, most of the work is done before and after UN conferences. From local initiatives to municipal and national policy-making to transnational networks, millions of people are working to accelerate the transformation towards a sustainable economy. Two important levers for this transformation are climate finance and climate policy at various levels. adelphi is active in these areas with a wide array of projects.

Climate Policy: Mainstreaming Climate Action on All Levels

The impacts of the climate crisis are global and call for a global response, but local and national actors are far from powerless. They can work toward climate neutrality in their role as consumers as well as by regulating access to resources, offering advice and guidance to their citizens, and setting the frame for other actors through laws and regulations. It is at the national and sub-national level that actual transformation takes place. State and municipal decision-makers have the ability and the responsibility to increase their communities’ resilience against climate impacts, encourage sustainable behaviour, promote a low carbon and climate-resilient transformation, and support non-governmental initiatives.

We contribute to national planning processes and evaluate climate policy instruments, from nationally determined contributions under the Paris Agreement to long-term strategies. We help cities, municipalities and other sub-state actors develop their enormous potential for local climate action. We analyse existing climate policy to identify lessons and best practices, optimise national support programmes, and advise decision-makers on the implementation of their climate mitigation and adaptation measures. At various levels, we facilitate peer learning and dialogue, and throughout our efforts we focus on bringing all stakeholders to the table to allow for mutual learning.

Bridging European and Local Climate Action (BEACON)

As the impacts of climate change are increasingly felt, many cities are moving ahead with lofty ambitions. Called upon as “implementers” of the energy transition, they often do not have any other choice. To implement their climate goals successfully, many look beyond their own city limits and seek an exchange of ideas within wider networks. Increasingly, Europe is playing a role in this. A Europe-wide dialogue on climate protection can give important impulses for achieving climate goals on a local level. The example of BEACON shows that tried and true approaches can be used all over Europe. Because in protecting our climate, size does not matter.

Ariadne – Transforming Industry and Heating for More Climate Protection

Greenhouse gas neutrality by 2050 in Germany and the EU will require a comprehensive transformation of energy systems. To revive and shape the stalled energy transition, decision-makers need an evidence-based, scientific foundation. The interdisciplinary Ariadne project brings together detailed knowledge on specific sectors of the German economy with a cross-sectoral perspective, combining long-term technology options with questions of governance and regulations.

Within this project, we focus on the industry and heating sectors, bringing stakeholders to the table and facilitating a continuous exchange with representatives from politics, private sector, science and civil society. With interactive formats and participative methodologies, we are building a bridge between research and diverse practitioners' perspectives.

Climate Finance: Leveraging Investments for Green Growth

Today’s production and consumption patterns strain both the climate and the environment – from the local to the global levels. The use of existing low-emission and environmentally friendly technologies depends upon framework conditions and financing. Green investments have particular characteristics and their importance is to increase in the future. However, markets and conditions for sustainable finance products are often under-developed. Financial institutions, investors, and businesses lack the necessary capacities to translate the risks and opportunities of green growth into the corresponding investments.

We work with financial institutions and policy makers to strengthen sustainable finance flows. We ensure that financial institutions integrate sustainability into their core management and advise on the creation of conducive policy frameworks for sustainable finance. We conduct research and develop actionable recommendations, advise on sustainable financial products and support our clients in building the required expertise for a sustainable transformation of the financial sector.

Supporting Public Development Banks to Scale Climate Finance

The International Development Finance Club (IDFC), a group of 26 national and regional development banks from all over the world, is committed to finance the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris Climate Agreement.

The IDFC Climate Facility, supported by adelphi, guides IDFC member banks in doing more and better climate finance and getting aligned with the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement, particularly by enhancing knowledge exchange between members and capacity development on climate-related topics, as well as ease access to project preparation and financing.

Applying the EU Taxonomy to Measure Economic Activities and Finance in Transition

The European Commission wants to lever the financial industry in order to achieve the ambitious goals of the European Green Deal. An important new tool for this is the “EU taxonomy” for sustainable economic activities. From 2022 onwards, many European companies and financial institutions will have to assess the sustainability of their products or services using taxonomy. However, there are still a few hurdles to overcome. The European Sustainable Finance Survey tries to identify them and address them with recommendations for action.

Working Together for a Climate-Friendly Tomorrow

adelphi will continue to work these levers to help transition to a sustainable future. In cooperation with a growing network of partners and clients, adelphi’s experts develop ideas and facilitate dialogue, advise decision-makers and guide implementers.

Follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter to keep up with our projects, and meet us at COP26 in Glasgow, e.g. from November 1st to 12th at the IDFC Pavilion.

Contact persons: Tobias Hausotter, Kathrin Kirsch, Rainer Agster.