CPI Founder Thomas C. Heller continues as Chairman of the Board

San Francisco, CA – Climate Policy Initiative today announced that its climate finance and energy finance programs will be led by Dr. Barbara Buchner and David Nelson, respectively. Both Executive Directors have demonstrated successful leadership of these core CPI programs over several years. They each take on enlarged responsibilities as Thomas C. Heller, Founder and Executive Director of CPI since 2009, moves into a new role as the non-executive CPI Board Chair and Senior Strategic Advisor.

“I’ve been involved with global climate, energy, and land use policy for several decades, and building CPI into the high-impact organization it is today has been very rewarding. The Paris agreement last December means we’re now moving from a world of diagnosis and planning to one of closing deals on the ground that implement national commitments to low carbon energy and land use. It’s time to recognize the accomplishments of those who will take this work forward in this new era” said Heller. “Our executive team, led by Dr. Buchner, Mr. Nelson, Professor Assunção, Ms. Wilkinson, Dr. Shrimali, and Dr. Sitorus, is well positioned to continue building CPI’s work and impact in this changed era. Each director has demonstrated outstanding leadership in his or her respective fields, and I look forward to participating in the next phase of growth and impact.”

Dr. Barbara Buchner has driven and directed CPI’s widely renowned climate finance work. She is the lead author on CPI’s Global Landscape of Climate Finance, which has set the benchmark for climate finance tracking, and Climate Finance in 2013-14 and the USD 100 billion goal – a joint report with the OECD that played a seminal role in the lead up to the Paris Agreement. Dr. Buchner established the San Giorgio Group, which brings together key financial institutions and political leaders actively engaged in green, low-emissions finance. She also directs the Global Innovation Lab for Climate Finance (the Lab). The Lab’s public-private approach solicits, shapes, and tests cutting edge climate finance instruments that resolve financing barriers hindering alternative energy, adaptation, and land use projects. The success of the Lab has helped to shape the new India Innovation Lab for Climate Finance, now in its first year. In the coming period, Dr. Buchner will steer the Climate Finance program in its continued support of the consolidation of the multilateral climate regime and work in close cooperation with public development finance institutions to facilitate effective alignment of public and private finance to scale up climate action, facilitating the funding of projects pledged in nationally determined contributions. Dr. Buchner will be based in San Francisco beginning in May 2016.

Before joining CPI, David Nelson worked as an investor and strategic advisor to energy and utilities companies and their regulators in Europe, Asia, North America, South America, and Australia for more than 20 years. He managed CPI’s research globally and helped establish CPI’s programs in the U.S., India, and more recently Europe. He has also served as lead author to several of CPI’s flagship publications, including: Roadmap to a Low Carbon Electricity System in the U.S. and Europe, Finance Mechanisms for Lowering the Cost of Renewable Energy in Rapidly Developing Countries, The finance chapter of the New Climate Economy report, Meeting India’s Renewable Energy Targets: The Financing Challenge, The Policy Climate, The Impacts of Policy on the Financing of Renewable Projects: A Case Study Analysis, and The Challenge of Institutional Investment in Renewable Energy. Throughout this time, Mr. Nelson has built up CPI’s analytical tools, team, and work products to support the transitions from fossil to low-carbon energy necessary to the realization of climate goals. CPI’s energy finance program collaborates with national and state governments, public and private firms, investors, and asset managers across the world to identify and put into practice the market designs, business models, and new financial instruments needed to implement at scale renewable energy deployment, flexibility services, and efficient system change.

“Ten years ago, barely anyone was talking about the fact that growth and climate action must go hand-in-hand. Heller, Buchner, and Nelson, and the rest of the CPI leadership team, through their vision and their diligence implementing that vision with robust, high-impact analysis and advice to leaders around the world, have helped change the conversation at an international level to one of opportunity and growth,” said Paul Brest, former President of the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and founding board member of CPI. “I’ll be very pleased to see these leaders continue to make an impact over the next decade to come.”

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Climate Policy Initiative (CPI) is a team of analysts and advisors that works to improve the most important energy and land use policies around the world, with a particular focus on finance. CPI has offices and programs in Brazil, China, Europe, India, Indonesia, and the United States. Founded in 2009 by Professor Thomas C. Heller, CPI’s in-depth analysis and advice helps nations grow while addressing increasingly scarce resources and climate risk.


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