CIGI paper calls for summit of public and private sector leaders to identify and overcome climate finance roadblocks

News Release

March 10, 2014

WATERLOO, Canada — March 10, 2014 — Transferring government departmental responsibility for climate negotiations from environment to finance is required for real progress on climate finance, according to a new paper from The Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI).

In Institutional Arrangements for Climate Finance, Jessica Boyle, David Runnalls and Dave Sawyer argue that while climate change is an environment issue, it is “all about energy policy.” For industrialized economies, the authors contend that climate change must be highly relevant to those making major economic decisions.

Boyle, Runnalls and Sawyer argue that “real progress will not be achieved until heads of state, governments and ministers of finance are prepared to see climate change as a major economic challenge.”

The authors’ other recommendations include:

  • The world must begin to slow the rate of growth of CO2 emissions quickly, with action necessary well before 2020. This will require the involvement of finance ministries and heads of government early in the planning for the Conference of the Parties (COP 21) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), which will be held in December 2015, in Paris.
  • The G8 and G20 should take discussions over the US$100 billion committed at the 2009 UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen to a more concrete stage, as the issue will not move without their support.
  • The private sector and governments have to step up and design mechanisms that increase the amount of finance available for the global transition to a low-carbon economy.

To download a free PDF copy of Institutional Arrangements for Climate Finance, please visit:

Jessica Boyle currently serves as policy lead in support of a range of the Delphi Group’s climate change and sustainability services. She helps clients navigate the complex policy and regulatory landscape, providing advisory and analytical support across various sectors and markets. Prior to Delphi, Jessica worked as a project manager and project officer with the Climate Change and Energy team at the International Institute for Sustainable Development. She also spent time as a Balsillie Fellow with CIGI and has worked for the Parliament of Canada. This paper was authored during Jessica’s time at IISD.

David Runnalls is a distinguished fellow and was formerly acting director of the Environment and Energy Program at CIGI. He also provided strategic advice and support for CIGI Chair Jim Balsillie’s role at the United Nations High-level Panel on Global Sustainability. He remains a distinguished fellow at the International Institute for Sustainable Development and a senior fellow at Sustainable Prosperity. David is chair of the International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development.

Dave Sawyer is a leading environmental economist with a 22-year track record in solving policy challenges for sustainable development. He is an accomplished adviser, author and communicator with experience working with government and industry in Canada and around the world. Dave uses quantitative models and qualitative tools to help governments and industry to address strategic questions and weigh the trade-offs of policy options and scenarios designed to leverage investments for sustainability. He has held positions with Environment Canada, Canada’s Commissioner of Environment and Sustainable Development, and leading Canadian consultancies. Most recently, he was the International Institute for Sustainable Development’s vice president for climate, energy and partnerships, leading a team of 20 adaptation and mitigation specialists working on low carbon, climate resilient development globally.

Declan Kelly, Communications Specialist, CIGI
Tel: 519.885.2444, ext. 7356, Email: [email protected]  

The Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI) is an independent, non-partisan think tank on international governance. Led by experienced practitioners and distinguished academics, CIGI supports research, forms networks, advances policy debate and generates ideas for multilateral governance improvements. Conducting an active agenda of research, events and publications, CIGI’s interdisciplinary work includes collaboration with policy, business and academic communities around the world. CIGI was founded in 2001 by Jim Balsillie, then co-CEO of Research In Motion (BlackBerry), and collaborates with and gratefully acknowledges support from a number of strategic partners, in particular the Government of Canada and the Government of Ontario. For more information, please visit

The opinions expressed in this article/multimedia are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of CIGI or its Board of Directors.