Panelists discussed harnessing microfinance and green solutions as a way to close Latin America’s energy gap. ... Play Video
On January 28, AS/COA hosted a public panel on microfinace and clean energy solutions to increase energy access in Latin America. Financial organizations can bridge the gap through innovative mechanisms for clean energy, which in turn can achieve a triple bottom-line impact. Panelists talked about the business case for clean energy finance in Latin America, explained the challenges and opportunities involved in entering this sector, and discussed measuring financial, social, and environmental impact.
Gregory Watson, Head, Strategic Planning and Team Leader, Clean Energy, Multilateral Investment Fund, Inter-American Development Bank (Download his presentation)
Amy Wang, Investment Officer, Global Social Investment Funds, Deutsche Bank Trust Company Americas
Nicola Armacost, Managing Director, Arc Finance, USA
Christian Gómez, Jr., Director of Energy, Council of the Americas (Moderator)
Watch the UN top official on climate change discuss bringing women to the negotiating table, as well as how to role model equality at home. ... Play Video
While women advance to leadership positions in the public and private sectors, how are international organizations seeking to boost participation of women to play a role in leading international negotiations? Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Christiana Figueres spoke with AS/COA's Adriana La Rotta about what delegations need to succeed in the upcoming rounds of climate negotiation this year in Lima and later in Paris—and how women’s specific skill sets could advance the process of solving climate change.
Figueres says mistakes learned from Copenhagen are leading to better groundwork ahead of Paris, and she stresses the need to prepare documents and materials ahead of time for country delegations to easily digest during the negotiation rounds.
She went on to respond to questions about women’s roles in the discussions, pointing to her work quantifying women’s representation and participation in UNFCCC bodies and delegations—a request coming from a past negotiation round in Doha—and international enthusiasm for bringing more women from developing countries to the table. "[W]e should be participating in equal measure—men and women—to be able to contribute the ideas and the creativity and, honestly, the tenacity that it takes to reach these agreements," she explains. She also discusses women's capacity to be sensitive to common ground among negotiators. "Maybe [it’s] because we have to do that as mothers and we have to solve the fights of children and figure out at home what is going to make everybody at least partially happy and satisfied,” she says. “So, I think we have that inherently in us and it’s definitely a skill set that is surely needed in these negotiations."
When advising younger generations on how to balance a career and personal life, Figueres says: "Do your homework," adding: "The first investment we all have to make, whether men or women, is truly into very good education." She explains that, as 50 percent of the population, women should soon achieve parity in professional and political fields, but it is up to leaders of today to role model parity at home. "[It] depends on us being an example to our daughters and to our sons so that they understand that this is the way the world works...And we have to role model that as something completely natural to the next generation, because that's the way they understand it."
Figueres gave a public presentation at the Americas Society/Council of the Americas in New York on January 14, on the sidelines of the UN Investor Summit on Climate Risk, a summit gathering hundreds of financial, corporate and investment leaders with more than $20 trillion in combined assets to discuss the implications of climate change for capital markets and their portfolios.