Sustainable development and the fight against climate change

Climate: A structuring priority


In 2016 alone, AFD committed EUR 3.6bn of “climate” finance, i.e. for projects with co-benefits for the fight against climate change. This accounts for over half (52%) of total activity in foreign countries. It is also a substantial increase compared to 2015: +22%.
The climate is and will remain a structural priority for AFD.

Since 2005, AFD has invested over EUR 24bn in projects which have a positive impact on the climate. We are one of the most committed donors in this field.

There is, indeed, an emergency. The impacts of climate change make countries and their populations more vulnerable. They will hold back or even jeopardize an escape from poverty. At the same time, our current modes of development, which are combined with an extremely high level of consumption of natural resources and fossil fuels, exacerbate climate change.

These realities pose an unprecedented challenge for governments, institutions and citizens: how to reconcile emergencies which are sometimes conflicting.


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Reconciling climate and development firstly involves helping the most fragile countries adapt to climate change. This priority is met through projects for water resources management in regions marked by a risk of water stress compounded by climate change.

It also involves developing agricultural practices adapted to the impacts of climate change, as in Peru (for example, the project conducted with the bank Agrobanco), or strengthening epidemiological surveillance systems in Southeast Asia in order to more effectively monitor the outbreak and spread of diseases, such as with the Ecomore project.
Adaptation projects accounted for 20% of Group activity in 2016.


Secondly, it involves mitigating the impacts of climate change, i.e. supporting projects which reduce GHG emissions. This action entails financing public transport: upgrading of Alexandria’s tramway or construction of the Ngapur metro in India, or financing renewable energy projects, such as hydropower production in Pakistan and solar power in Bolivia.
In 2016, the 39 mitigation projects financed will reduce annual emissions by 3.6 million tons of CO2.


Finally, AFD provides budget support to countries which develop ambitious climate policies. In 2016, these commitments supported Colombia and Vietnam and promoted the mainstreaming of climate issues into the sectors of energy in Pakistan and biodiversity conservation in Mexico.

►  Find out more about our 2016 climate activity

The think tank I4CE – Institute for Climate Economics welcomes a new major Moroccan sponsor: Caisse de Dépôt et de Gestion du Maroc (CDG)


We are proud to announce that Caisse de Dépôt et Gestion du Maroc will be joining our founding members, Caisse des Dépôts Group , the Agence Française de Développement (AFD) and the ADEME , French Environment and Energy Management Agency, to support the governance and financing of I4CE – Institute for Climate Economics.

I4CE is a think tank dedicated to the economics of climate change, and benefits from a strong North-South knowledge base to facilitate the deployment of international development strategies.

I4CE is led by Benoît Leguet and chaired by Pierre Ducret, climate adviser to the Caisse des Dépôts Group.

I4CE provides its sponsors with its expertise based on the research, analysis and assessment of four key areas of climate economy: energy policy and carbon pricing; cities and infrastructure; agriculture and forestry; finance and investment. As a local organisation dealing with international issues, I4CE leverages its relationships within an international community of experts to deliver contemporary, well developed information on climate and energy policies.

I4CE is set to heighten its international status thanks to the participation of our new Moroccan sponsor. This new venture will further I4CE’s collaboration with academic and research institutions in Morocco and pave the way for the dissemination of its expertise in knowledge production, public policy, capacity building and other key climate issues, not only in Morocco but also across the African continent.

At COP 22 , Pierre-René Lemas, CEO of Caisse des Dépôts said: "I welcome this first step in the internationalization of I4CE with a strong partner input, which share with the Caisse des Dépôts values of general interest and engagement in the energy and environmental transition. The international interest raised by the think-tank is a form of recognition for the work done by the team, its Managing director Benoît Leguet and its Chair Pierre Ducret."

Abdellatif Zaghnoun, CEO of CDG: “For the CDG, which aims to play a key role in the development of Climate Finance at the national and regional levels, this partnership is timely. I am convinced that I4CE will help produce the required knowledge in the field of climate economics, will participate in strengthening the necessary capacity and will animate the policy debates both in favor of the public players and private companies.”

Rémy Rioux, Director General of the French Development Agency (AFD): "The creation of a think tank focusing on the low-carbon transition in the global North and South is an appropriate response to the ambitions of the Paris Agreement which helps sets common goals for carbon sobriety. The AFD has historically promoted this transition, not only with the partner countries but also with other development banks, notably through the IDFC Club, which includes the AFD and CDG, and through the launch and dissemination of ‘Principles for Mainstreaming Climate Action within financial institutions’ at COP21."

François Moisan, Executive Director strategy, research, international of ADEME: "The rapid implementation of energy and environmental transitions trajectories is necessary to achieve our climate targets. ADEME believes that I4CE, by bringing together public actors particularly North-South mobilized on these issues, will be a particularly relevant network to assist in the design and implementation of these trajectories. "


I4CE – Institute for climate economics - is an initiative of Caisse des Dépôts and The Agence Française de Développement. The Think Tank provides independent expertise and analysis when assessing economic issues relating to climate & energy policies in France and throughout the world. I4CE aims at helping public and private decision-makers to improve the way in which they understand, anticipate, and encourage the use of economic and financial resources aimed at promoting the transition to a low-carbon economy / @I4CE_

The Caisse de Dépot et de Gestion (CDG) Morocco is a financial institution, created as a public establishment in 1959. Its mission is to collect, preserve and manage savings resources that, by their nature or origin, require special protection. CDG is also a leading player in the Moroccan economy and provides support to government policies and development strategies.
The major activities of the CDG Group are: Savings management and Welfare; Bank Finance and Insurance; Territorial development.

The Caisse des Dépôts France and its subsidiaries constitute a public group that is a long-term investor serving the public interest and regional economic development in France. Its mission was reaffirmed by the French law on the modernisation of the economy dated 4 August 2008.
The Group is recognised for its expertise in the management of its missions, and concentrates its actions on four strategic areas of transition for the long-term development of France: regional, ecological and energy, digital, and demographic and social. / @CaissedesDepots

provides expertise and advisory services to businesses, local authorities and communities, government bodies and the public at large, to enable them to establish and consolidate their environmental action. As part of this work, the agency helps finance projects, from research to implementation, in its areas of action.

Integrating climate change adaptation into project development: emerging experience


The Paris Agreement on climate change, adopted in December 2015, adds momentum to the need for practical approaches in support of climate change adaptation, in order to scale up action on strengthening climate resilience. The emerging experience of experts from European financing institutions and the European Commission provides insights into how these climate issues can be best integrated into project development and implementation.

A note summarising this experience – entitled “Integrating Climate Change Information and Adaptation in Project Development: Emerging Experience from Practitioners” – has been prepared in order to help practitioners assess climate change risks and vulnerabilities and integrate adaptation measures – structural or non-structural – into project planning, design and implementation. The overall aim is to help make projects and investments more resilient to the effects of climate change and to implement adaptation measures that reinforce the climate resilience of goods, people, economies and territories of the beneficiaries.

The note is based on the emerging experience of experts from seven European institutions working together under the umbrella of the European Financing Institutions Working Group on Adaptation to Climate Change (EUFIWACC).

The group comprises Agence Française de Développement (AFD), the Council of Europe Development Bank (CEB), the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Climate Action (DG CLIMA), the European Investment Bank (EIB), KfW Development Bank (KFW), and the Nordic Investment Bank (NIB).

The note further benefited from the technical expertise of experts from the JASPERS partnership (Joint Assistance to Support Projects in European Regions) and the Climate Service Center Germany (GERICS), as well as an advisory group of consultancies.

The group considers the document a continuous learning process that should and will evolve in a context where new tools for decision-making under uncertainty are needed, and where the track record regarding best practices or specific due diligence is still developing.

Download the document

Rémy Rioux appointed Chief Executive Officer of Agence Française de Développement by the Council of Ministers today, 25 May 2016


Today, on a proposal made by François Hollande at the Parliament on 27 April 2016 and following a unanimous favorable vote of MPs and a majority of Senators, Mr. Rémy Rioux, 46, Deputy Secretary General of the French Ministry of Foreign affairs and International Development, has been appointed Chief Executive Officer of Agence Française de Développement, a Public Industrial and Commercial Establishment responsible for development in Southern countries and the French overseas territories. Rémy Rioux, AFD’s 11th Chief Executive Officer, will take over as head of AFD on 2 June 2016.

Rémy Rioux was born in June 1969 in Neuilly-sur-Seine and is an alumnus of the Ecole Normale Supérieure, rue d’Ulm, Sciences Po, and the Ecole Nationale d’Administration. He is a historian by training, a former student of Alain Corbin and Pierre Nora, and Senior Advisor at the Court of Auditors. During his career, he has alternately held responsibilities in France and for development in Africa.

Rémy Rioux appointed Chief Executive Officer of AFD © Alain Buu

At the age of 26, Rémy Rioux discovered Africa during an ENA internship in Benin, and subsequently by campaigning to promote the harmonization of business law in Africa. He has a love of this continent and has travelled across it throughout his career, established close ties there, and acquired a recognized expertise in development issues. He worked at the Directorate of the Treasury from 2004 to 2007, and subsequently from 2010 to 2012, where he contributed to modernizing monetary cooperation with African Franc Zone member countries, participated in the resolution of the Ivorian crisis, and contributed to making the issue of infrastructure and development central to the international agenda of the G20. At the time, he was a Member of the Boards of Directors of AFD and its subsidiary PROPARCO.

Rémy Rioux also conducted control missions in the energy and defense sectors at the Court of Auditors between 1997 and 2004. He worked at the Ministry of the Interior from 2000 to 2002, at the Office of the Minister Daniel Vaillant, where he was responsible for the budget and changeover to the euro. He also held a position at the State Holdings Agency (APE), from 2007 to 2010, as Chief Investment Officer responsible for the transport and media sectors, and sat on the Boards of Directors of various companies (SNCF, RATP, ADP, Renault, France Télévisions, France Médias Monde, Arte, le Grand Port Maritime du Havre).

In 2012, he was Director of the Office of the Minister of the Economy, Finance and Foreign Trade, Pierre Moscovici. He was actively involved in redefining economic relations between Africa and France and in the work conducted by Jacques Attali on economic Francophonie. Two years later, Laurent Fabius, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development, appointed him Deputy Secretary General of the Ministry, in charge of economic issues. Alongside the Minister, he managed the financial component of the negotiations for COP21.

Following the announcement made by the French President in September 2015 of a revival of France’s Official Development Assistance policy and an increase in development and climate finance (by EUR 4bn by 2020, to reach EUR 12.5bn of annual commitments, including EUR 5bn for the climate), he was entrusted with a preparatory mission for the establishment of closer ties between Agence Française de Développement and Caisse des Dépôts, which aims to provide France with a tool capable of meeting the challenges of the Sustainable Development Goals.

He is a man of dialogue and conviction and is deeply attached to the Massif Central region, particularly Corrèze and Lozère, where he regularly stays with his wife and three children.

Key Dates

  • 26 June 1969: Born in Neuilly-sur-Seine, France
  • 1997: Auditor at the Court of Auditors on leaving ENA (Marc Bloch Class), where he became Senior Advisor in 2013
  • 2001 and 2002: Budget Advisor at the Office of Daniel Vaillant at the Ministry of the Interior
  • 2003: Control missions in the energy and defense sectors at the Court of Auditors
  • 2004: General Directorate of the Treasury, Head of the Office for Monetary and Development Cooperation with African, Caribbean, Pacific and Franc Zone countries
  • 2007: Deputy Director for the transport and audiovisual sectors at the State Holdings Agency (APE)
  • 2010: Deputy Director for international financial affairs and development at the General Directorate of the Treasury
  • 2012 to 2014: Director of the Office of Mr. Pierre Moscovici at the Ministry of the Economy and Finance
  • 2014: Deputy Secretary General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development in charge of economic affairs
  • 2015: Responsible for financial matters in the French negotiation team for COP21.
  • June 2016: Appointed the 11th Chief Executive Officer of Agence Française de Développement.

SUNREF, AFD’s Green Finance Label: Website Now Online


AFD has launched the SUNREF website for its partners and green finance actors. The aim of this website is to be a platform to exchange ideas, share, and take action, while being an ecosystem for green finance by disseminating knowledge and creating networks among actors in the sector. It will also provide information on the projects and partners of this innovative program.

Seizing the opportunities of the ecological transition

The transition towards a greener model holds considerable economic development potential. Green growth provides the private sector with a number of opportunities in the fields of energy management, sustainable natural resources management and environmental protection. In Southern countries, financing this green growth poses a major challenge to which AFD contributes, thanks to the SUNREF program, in partnership with green finance actors (banks, companies, public authorities, donors…).

Green credit line for the private sector accessible via partner banks

The aim of the SUNREF (Sustainable Use of Natural Resources and Energy Finance) program, AFD’s green finance label, is to facilitate access to affordable sustainable energy in order to ensure the development of a low-carbon economy and contribute to mitigating the causes of climate change.

SUNREF helps private actors in Southern countries seize the opportunities of the ecological transition and encourages local banks to finance it on customized financial terms. This innovative range of services consequently gives the private sector greater access to bank financing to purchase better quality equipment, and thereby make savings and increase its competitiveness, thanks to better energy management and by taking the environment into account.

SUNREF also offers its partners an integrated approach which aims to strengthen the capacities of all actors, thanks to a technical assistance program whose role is to support and boost the market for financing green investments: assisting banks in project financing and helping companies implement strategies for an optimized use of energy and natural resources. 

SUNREF website: A platform dedicated to green finance

AFD has made a dedicated platform available to green finance actors (banks, companies, donors, public authorities) which allows them to collect, disseminate and capitalize on best practices. The SUNREF website is thereby an ecosystem for green finance which provides actors in the sector with new opportunities to implement innovative and effective operational approaches. Finally, this website gives an additional understanding of the green finance projects implemented by AFD, the green investments made in Africa, the Indian Ocean, Latin America, Asia and the Mediterranean, SUNREF’s innovative approach and its benefits, its partners, and the types of eligible financing. SUNREF’s aim is to pool the efforts of all actors in order to facilitate the scaling up which is essential for addressing the environmental challenges.
For further information ►

SUNREF (Sustainable Use of Natural Resources and Energy Finance) is AFD’s green finance label. In a context of energy and environmental transition, SUNREF helps private actors in Southern countries seize the opportunities of this transition via an innovative approach and encourages local banks to finance it. To date, 42 SUNREF projects have been successfully implemented since 2006, in partnership with 70 local banks in some 30 countries of operation, for a total commitment of over EUR 2.5bn of loans allocated by AFD, including EUR 1.2bn already disbursed.


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