Ahead of the climate summit in Bonn later this fall, the UN has announced nineteen global initiatives as winners of the United Nations ‘Momentum for Change’ Climate Solutions Award. The Award shines light on some of the most innovative, scalable and practical examples of what is done across the globe to combat climate change.
Kommuninvest, the Swedish local government funding agency, will be one of the 2017 prize winners. Kommuninvest receives the prize for the model that gives Swedish municipalities and county councils access to green funding. The prize will be awarded during the climate summit in Bonn between 6 and 17 November.
Kommuninvest’s green finance model
In Sweden, the local government sector is key to achieving the national environmental objectives. Municipalities and county councils / regions account for the majority of public sector investments, with a focus on investment projects with considerable potential green benefit. Investments in residential and commercial property, energy infrastructure and water and wastewater infrastructure accounted for around 75 percent of the total local government investment in 2016, which amounted to SEK 146 billion according to a report from Kommuninvest.
Kommuninvest has been offering green loans since 2015 to finance municipal investment projects in renewable energy, energy efficiency, green buildings, public transport and water management. So far, SEK 24.9 billion has been approved for 140 investment projects in some 80 municipalities and county councils / regions.
Kommuninvest’s Green loans framework has been developed in close collaboration with environmental experts from Borås, Gothenburg, and Örebro municipalities, Uppsala Läns Landsting and Sweden’s Municipalities and County Council, SKL. These experts are also included in the Environmental Committee which evaluates and approves the projects that may be included in funding with Green Bonds.
To finance the Green loans, Kommuninvest has so far issued three green bonds amounting to a total of some SEK 14 billion. This makes Kommuninvest Sweden’s largest issuer of green bonds.
Comment from Kommuninvest’s CEO Tomas Werngren:
– Cities are key to reaching the goals of the Paris agreement, this is where the major investments to mitigate and adapt to climate change are made. The UN award is international recognition both for the way in which Swedish local governments cooperate on financial matters as well as for their progressive use of green finance. We are very pleased to be able to deploy green finance in support of the environmental work undertaken by the local government sector.
Press release from the UNFCCC regarding the Momentum for Change Award
Kommuninvest is a municipal cooperation for efficient and sustainable financing of housing, infrastructure, schools, hospitals etc. Together, we get better loan terms than each one individually. Since its inception in 1986, the Kommuninvest collaboration has helped lower the local government sector’s borrowing costs by many billion kronor. Currently, 288 municipalities and county councils/regions are members of this voluntary cooperation. Kommuninvest is the largest lender to the local government sector and, with total assets approaching SEK 400 billion (USD ~50 billion), the sixth largest credit institution in Sweden. The head office is located in Örebro.
Björn Bergstrand, Head of Sustainability/Head of Media Relations, Kommuninvest i Sverige AB, +46 708 86 94 76, firstname.lastname@example.org