Research Commentary: U.S. Leadership in Scaling Capital for Multilateral Clean Energy Finance

Lily Bermel, Brian Deese, Brad Setser, Tess Turner, and Michael Weilandt

June 2024

The global effort to accelerate the clean energy transition can only be successful if underpinned by an ambitious and concrete effort to mobilize finance. The multilateral development banks (MDBs) are essential to solving this challenge.

Current efforts to scale multilateral finance to accelerate the clean energy transition are moving too slowly. High-profile announcements have not generated significant concrete action. On net, global creditors withdrew funding from low and lower-middle-income countries in 2022 and 2023.

However, there are concrete actionable steps that the MDBs and their shareholders can take beginning this year to expand capital for clean energy finance. In this commentary, we present five opportunities for action. Achieving any one of them would represent an important step forward. Progress across multiple could help change the game on clean energy finance. But progress this year cannot be measured in more pledges, targets, and frameworks for reform. Now is the time to mobilize real dollars, euros, pounds, and yen to support real and impactful clean energy projects in developing countries.