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Posted on December 5, 2023 | Updated at 8AM

GAIA awarded Best Blended Investment NDC Initiative at COP 28

Accepting award

Dubai, 5 December 2023 – GAIA, a climate change-focused blended finance platform led by MUFG, one of the world's leading financial groups, and FinDev Canada, Canada's bilateral development finance institution, wins the best blended investment NDC (Nationally Determined Contribution) initiative of the year award.  

The awards ceremony took place at COP 28 on December 5th during the Africa Investment Earthshot Leaders Summit. The awards recognize both public and private sector institutions that are working to innovate and break new ground to mobilize private capital and private sector participation at scale, to Africa’s bankable NDC investment commitments and projects. 

GAIA is a $1.48 billion climate change-focused blended finance platform that will offer long-term loans for climate change adaptation and mitigation investments in up to 25 developing countries across Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean - making funding accessible through sources previously unattainable to participating countries.  

“We congratulate you for championing innovative projects that mobilize investment at scale. The continent requires $3 trillion of green investment by 2030, to pursue Africa’s NetZero aspirations, for which projects such as yours are critical,” Chairman of Africa investor Group and the Chair of the NDC Awards Adjudication Panel, Dr. Hubert Danso said.  

“I am honored to accepting this award on behalf of FinDev Canada, alongside my colleagues from MUFG. This award recognizes the innovative nature of the GAIA platform and the role it will play in helping to mobilize private capital in support of projects that contribute to climate action,” said FinDev Canada Chief Executive Officer Lori Kerr. 

“We are delighted that GAIA has been recognized for its ambitions to drive the transition towards a more sustainable inclusive global economy. Using an innovated approach to blended finance, we are excited to witness the impact GAIA can have in helping to progress climate change adaptation and mitigation projects in regions where it is needed most,” said Global Head, Global Corporate & Investment Banking Business Group, MUFG, Fumitaka Nakahama. 

Mobilizing private sector 

The fundamental objective of GAIA’s Platform is to employ its public-private financing capacity into meaningful low-carbon, climate adaptation and mitigation assets, across a range of climate change vulnerable countries.  

Overall the platform will direct 25 % of investments towards Least Developed Countries and Small Island Developing States, ensuring that funding reaches the most climate vulnerable communities with 70% of total portfolio going towards adaptation projects. 

The United Nations estimates a financing gap of well over $USD 500 billion per year for climate projects in emerging markets over the next ten years.  

GAIA will help bridge the climate finance gap by financing projects aligned with Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and National Adaptation Plans (NAPs). With a target to support climate change adaptation (70%) and mitigation (30%) projects, at full deployment, GAIA is estimated to directly benefit 6,5 million people and indirectly to 13 million people through climate change adaptation projects and avoid an average of 1 million tCO2e annually with climate change mitigation projects.    

GAIA is committed to overcoming barriers that hinder private investment in climate change projects in emerging markets and pave the way for the creation of similar platforms which could lead to substantial private sector investments in various sectors, including climate change, in developing countries which often have limited financing alternatives.  

“We know that the mobilization of private investment is critical to make further progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals and Paris Agreement commitments. GAIA will blend commercial capital with a concessional and patient source of capital, creating a model that can be scaled and replicated across markets,” notes Lori Kerr.  

The African NDC Investment Awards recognize achievements across the main NDC project sectors and reward the governments, institutions, and individuals driving transactions and improving the investment readiness of Africa’s NDC projects requiring $3 trillion of investment by 2030. 

The awards are the only international, pan-African awards that recognize and reward both public and private sector institutions who are working to innovate and break new ground to mobilize investment and private sector participation at scale, in NDC Paris-aligned climate investment commitments and projects. 

About FinDev Canada       

FinDev Canada is Canada’s bilateral Development Finance Institution (DFI), supporting development through the private sector. We provide financing, investment, and blended finance solutions, as well as technical assistance and knowledge, to promote sustainable and inclusive growth in emerging markets and developing economies (EMDEs) aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Paris Agreement commitments. FinDev Canada is a wholly owned subsidiary of Export Development Canada (EDC). Find out more about FinDev Canada at    

About MUFG       

Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, Inc. (MUFG) is one of the world’s leading financial groups. Headquartered in Tokyo and with over 360 years of history, MUFG has a global network with approximately 2,000 locations in more than 50 countries. The Group has about 160,000 employees and offers services including commercial banking, trust banking, securities, credit cards, consumer finance, asset management, and leasing. The Group aims to “be the world’s most trusted financial group” through close collaboration among our operating companies and flexibly respond to all of the financial needs of our customers, serving society, and fostering shared and sustainable growth for a better world. MUFG’s shares trade on the Tokyo, Nagoya, and New York stock exchanges. Find out more about MUFG at

Media contact and interview requests 

FinDev Canada  

Florence Reinson  
Senior External Communications and Media Advisor 


Megan Wood