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Unlocking Climate Finance in Latin America and the Caribbean

This event was hosted at UBS Headquarters in New York, NY.

Date & Time

Sep. 19, 2023
3:00pm – 4:30pm ET


UBS Branch Office | 1285 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10019


Environmental challenges, including climate change and biodiversity loss, severely threaten Latin America and the Caribbean, costing nations up to 5 percent of GDP annually. Yet the region has long struggled to find the domestic resources to respond, or to attract sufficient support from multinational institutions or donors. Lately, however, innovative sources of capital, known broadly as “green financing,” have become available. These include “blue bonds” in Belize and Ecuador, sustainability-linked bonds in Chile and Uruguay, and Brazil’s Amazon Fund. There are also potentially significant private sector funding opportunities through carbon markets and impact investing.

In an in-person conversation organized by the Wilson Center’s Brazil Institute, public and private sector leaders gathered to discuss these pioneering “green financing” strategies and the trailblazing role of Latin American governments. Taking place during the UN General Assembly and Climate Week in New York City, the dialogue examined innovative models that use private investment to empower communities, protect biodiversity, and accelerate the transition to low-carbon economies.

In his keynote address, Minister Gustavo Manrique Miranda, Ecuador’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, emphasized the transformative power of innovative financing mechanisms and the critical role of conservation in achieving sustainable development. He recounted Ecuador's commitment to conservation efforts, showcasing a groundbreaking financial collaboration, particularly in the Galapagos Islands. The Minister highlighted the importance of data-driven decision-making, collaboration among diverse stakeholders, and visionary leadership in achieving these conservation successes.

The panelists, who represented diverse sectors and backgrounds, shared a common assumption: the urgent need to unlock climate finance in Latin America and the Caribbean, coupled with the understanding that this region possesses untapped potential for sustainable development. They emphasized that trust, consistency in policy signals, and concrete plans are crucial for attracting investments. Furthermore, the private sector's pivotal role in driving climate finance and fostering a just transition was a central theme of their discussions.

This event provided a platform for thought leaders to discuss and explore collaborative strategies to address the pressing environmental challenges faced by Latin America and the Caribbean region and facilitate sustainable growth through innovative financing mechanisms.


Marcelo Behar

Marcelo Behar

Vice President, Sustainability & Group Affairs, Natura &Co
 Susana Cordeiro

Susana Cordeiro

Manager, Institutions for Development, Inter-American Development Bank
Sergio Gusmão Suchodolski

Sergio Gusmão Suchodolski

Global Fellow;
Executive Vice President, VR Investment
Natalie Unterstell

Natalie Unterstell

Global Fellow;
President, Talanoa; member, UN Green Climate Fund’s accreditation panel

Keynote Speaker

Gustavo Manrique Miranda

Gustavo Manrique Miranda

Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ecuador


Image - Eduardo Mufarej

Eduardo Mufarej

Founder, Good Karma Partners; Co-founder, RenovaBR    

Hosted By

Brazil Institute

The Brazil Institute—the only country-specific policy institution focused on Brazil in Washington—works to foster understanding of Brazil’s complex reality and to support more consequential relations between Brazilian and US institutions in all sectors. The Brazil Institute plays this role by producing independent research and programs that bridge the gap between scholarship and policy, and by serving as a crossroads for leading policymakers, scholars and private sector representatives who are committed to addressing Brazil’s challenges and opportunities.  Read more

Latin America Program

The Wilson Center’s prestigious Latin America Program provides non-partisan expertise to a broad community of decision makers in the United States and Latin America on critical policy issues facing the Hemisphere. The Program provides insightful and actionable research for policymakers, private sector leaders, journalists, and public intellectuals in the United States and Latin America. To bridge the gap between scholarship and policy action, it fosters new inquiry, sponsors high-level public and private meetings among multiple stakeholders, and explores policy options to improve outcomes for citizens throughout the Americas. Drawing on the Wilson Center’s strength as the nation’s key non-partisan policy forum, the Program serves as a trusted source of analysis and a vital point of contact between the worlds of scholarship and action.  Read more

Environmental Change and Security Program

The Environmental Change and Security Program (ECSP) explores the connections between environmental change, health, and population dynamics and their links to conflict, human insecurity, and foreign policy.  Read more

Wahba Institute for Strategic Competition

The Wahba Institute for Strategic Competition works to shape conversations and inspire meaningful action to strengthen technology, trade, infrastructure, and energy as part of American economic and global leadership that benefits the nation and the world.  Read more

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