Financing the Low-Carbon Economy

Instruments, Barriers and Recommendations

In this report, Swiss Sustainable Finance explores the broad range of finance solutions at hand to support the transition to a climate-friendly economy. The extensive compendium, prepared by SSF in cooperation with its network, highlights 16 specific finance instruments and approaches for a low-carbon economy, and illustrates their implementation through 8 case studies.

The chapters provide insights into the mechanisms and applicability of different instruments such as listed equity, green bonds, direct real-estate investments, green mortgages, insurance solutions, private equity investments, community finance and energy performance contracting. Also central to each chapter are explanations of the type of impact the individual instruments can have and an assessment of their maturity. The case studies provide concrete examples showing how such finance solutions are implemented in practice.

Additionally, the compendium examines the effectiveness of Swiss environmental legislation, which has a major influence on the success of the various financial solutions. Finally, the report includes an assessment of areas for urgent action, including:

  • filling existing data gaps in the areas of sustainability and climate alignment,
  • creating clear definitions and standards for sustainable investments and targeted education and training on the topic,
  • sending the right CO2 price signals in the real economy, for an efficient use of such financial solutions,
  • and providing incentives or systematically reducing investment risks.

The publication is the result of a fruitful cooperation between SSF, 44 authors from its network, and a high-level steering committee. It aims to inspire financial players both in Switzerland and around the world to further take up low-carbon finance solutions that support transformative change.


Table 1: Overview on Financing Instruments


Figure 1: Mapping of Instruments within the Financial System


Figure 36: Key Recommendations for Scaling Low-Carbon Finance Solutions

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