Japanese lender Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG) has partnered with FinDev Canada and a consortium of United Nations partners and platform-based initiatives to launch a $1.5 billion climate and blended finance platform to address risks associated with climate change.

Dubbed GAIA, the platform is projected to reach nearly 20 million direct and indirect beneficiaries across 25 developing and emerging countries, according to a statement issued by the firms.

The platform aims to address risks associated with climate change through mitigation and adaptation investments and is committed to overcoming barriers that hinder private investment in climate projects in emerging markets.

According to the statement, GAIA will blend commercial capital with a concessional and patient source of capital, creating a model that can be scaled and replicated across markets.

The result is the mobilization of private sector finance at-scale to support the transition of emerging markets to low-carbon and climate-resilient growth pathways.

GAIA’s objective aligns with the Paris Summit for a New Global Financing Pact’s goal of establishing a new contract between the nations of the North and the South to combat climate change and responds to Barbadian Prime Minister, Hon. Mia Mottley’s call for increased climate finance.

GAIA’s new approach will work by fostering the convergence of public and private sector entities, and creating a pathway that bridges the climate finance gap.

The platform will also ensure that country ownership is prioritized and aligned with national climate objectives and local circumstances.

“As we work towards a new global financing pact at Paris Summit, we must mobilize private sector investment at scale, prioritizing climate adaptation and the countries which are most vulnerable to climate change,

“Together, we can bridge the gap to secure a more sustainable future,” said Ryan Straughn, Minister of Finance, Barbados.

Christopher Marks, Managing Director, Head of Portfolio Solutions, Innovative Finance and Growth Markets for Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), MUFG, said that climate finance distribution remains largely concentrated in developed regions, leaving emerging and frontier economies, which are the most vulnerable to climate impacts, underrepresented.

“GAIA, instead, places emphasis on investments in vulnerable jurisdictions, ensuring that they receive adequate support,

“Within the $1.5 billion GAIA portfolio, 70 percent will be dedicated to climate adaptation projects,” he added.

Paulo Martelli, Vice President and Chief Investment officer, FinDev Canada, said that their ability to structure solutions which address mitigation and adaptation depends heavily on how well the public and private sector can work together to bring critical financing options to the table.

“Every day we see evidence of how climate change is affecting the world, no where more so than in emerging markets,

“GAIA is an important – and innovative – step in that direction and demonstrates the potential that is unlocked by bringing multiple players together in support of a common, global problem,” he added.

MUFG Bank partners Mitsubishi, Pavilion Private Equity to launch $1B climate tech fund