This document provides a glossary of financing instruments and the mechanism of these instruments. These definitions may serve as a useful reference for public sector decision-makers evaluating the broad toolkit of options available to support private sector climate change mitigation projects in developing countries.

Executive Summary

This document is drawn from Appendix II in WRI’s working paper, Moving the Fulcrum: A Primer on Public Climate Financing Instruments Used to Leverage Private Capital. This working paper demonstrates how the public sector can employ different types of public financing instruments — whether loans, equity, or de-risking instruments — alongside policy and technical support to scale-up private sector investment in low-carbon markets.

Moving the Fulcrum is part of WRI’s Climate Finance series, which tackles a broad range of issues relevant to public donors, intermediaries, and recipients of climate finance. A subset of this series, including this primer, examines how public climate finance providers—whether governments, development finance institutions, or international finance mechanisms like the proposed Green Climate Fund–can meet the significant investment needs of developing countries by mobilizing private sector investment. It focuses on how the public sector can finance and mobilize investment into private sector projects, but also acknowledges the importance of overarching support for complementary low-carbon policies. Low-carbon sectors specifically considered include renewable energy, energy efficiency, and related infrastructure and services, though lessons may equally apply to other climate change-relevant sectors like sustainable agriculture, transportation, and water infrastructure.