New Frontiers in Climate Finance

Investment decisions made in low- and middle-income countries leading up to 2030 will determine whether low-carbon pathways out of poverty and climate vulnerability are possible for millions, and whether the next global surge in emissions can be prevented.

There is an increasing realization that (1) the way in which low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) develop over the next decade has outsized influence over how and whether global climate targets can be achieved and (2) investment is not flowing to these countries at the type or level needed to demonstrate and scale low-carbon development strategies. The growth and continued reliance on fossil fuel-intensive development in just 15 emerging economies (Figure 1) — home to nearly one fifth of the global population — may drive an emissions wave over the next two decades akin to what China produced during the last two.

Map of the world indicating the top 15 greenhouse gas emitters outside of BRIC and OECD countries – Argentina, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Thailand, Turkey, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Vietnam

Figure 1. The “Emerging 15.” The top 15 greenhouse gas emitters outside of Brazil, Russia, India, and China and Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development countries.

There are another 15 developing countries — home to nearly 1 billion people — where fossil fuel use remains much lower, but where powerful transformative forces are also at work. These “Next 15” have some of the highest rates of population and economic growth and urbanization, and their people are expected to be some of the most climate vulnerable on the planet.  Demonstration that new low-carbon development pathways are feasible is critical to support these countries’ aspirations.

Map of the world indicating the ‘Next 15’ – Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Côte d'Ivoire, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique, Niger, Philippines, Rwanda, Senegal, Tanzania, and Uganda

Figure 2. The “Next 15.”

Note: Beyond the Emerging 15, these countries represent places where high economic growth, high population growth, high climate vulnerability, and low levels of development make low-carbon development pathways critical national priorities.

The New Frontiers in Climate Finance project is scoping the challenges and opportunities inherent to climate finance in LMICs, and seeking to help increase the scale and transformational impact of climate finance to these economies. The project aims to mobilize key stakeholder organizations around a common vision for aligning the tools of development finance with the needs and strategies of LMICs, and to build low-carbon development pathways that support poverty alleviation while reducing the next global wave of greenhouse gas emissions.

Duke Faculty/Staff: Jonathan Phillips, Jackson Ewing, Victoria Plutshack, Liilnna Teji, Marc Jeuland

Duke Students: Abhay Rao, Abi Vanover, Jide Olutoke, and Rajat Khandelwal

Share this:
Subscribe to our mailing List