A Devex event in partnership with RTI International

Unlocking resources for climate resilience through private sector partnerships

November 8, 2021 — 9 a.m. ET | 3 p.m. CET


About the Event

Costs for climate adaptation are predicted to surge from about $70 billion per year to as much as $500 billion by 2050. Even though spending on climate adaptation has increased substantially in recent years, it is being outpaced by the rising burden placed on communities.

Countries and regions across the globe urgently need to build and invest in climate resilience, yet they often lack the necessary resources. While the public sector will remain key in building resilient societies that can manage the growing threats of climate change, there is also an urgent need to stimulate investment and activity from the private sector. Less than 2% of the $30 billion invested globally in climate adaptation comes from private sources, suggesting an unparalleled opportunity to unlock funding.

Both local and international actors in the private sector have important roles to play — not only when it comes to boosting resilience in general, but also for protecting themselves and local economies against climate impacts.

This event, hosted by Devex in partnership with RTI International, will look at how partnerships with actors from both local and global private sectors can unlock urgently needed funds and resources for climate resilience, and how the various parties can best work together to build a sustainable and resilient future.


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09:00 a.m. ET

Opening remarks by Adva Saldinger, Senior Reporter, Devex

09:05 a.m. ET

Spotlight on a partnership


• Miguel Franco, Director, Energy and Climate Change, RTI International

• Adva Saldinger, Senior Reporter, Devex

09:17 a.m. ET

Panel Discussion


• Jake Levine, Chief Climate Officer, U.S. International Development Finance Corporation
• Dr. Pepukaye Bardouille, Resilience Lead, Municipal and Environmental Infrastructure, Global Upstream Infrastructure Department, International Finance Corporation
• Kumayl Khaleeli, Chief Executive Officer, Zephyr Power

• Adva Saldinger, Senior Reporter, Devex

09:57 a.m. ET

Closing Remarks by Adva Saldinger, Senior Reporter, Devex


Dr. Pepukaye Bardouille

Dr. Pepukaye Bardouille

Resilience Lead, Municipal and Environmental Infrastructure, Global Upstream Infrastructure Department, International Finance Corporation (IFC)

Pepukaye Bardouille is Resilience Lead within the Global Upstream Infrastructure Group’s at the International Finance Corporation (IFC). IFC—a member of the World Bank Group—is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. As part of the Upstream Energy and Municipal & Environmental Infrastructure Teams, Pepukaye focuses on developing replicable business models and identifying investment opportunities that address infrastructure vulnerabilities affecting the achievement of State and corporate-level resilience targets. Prior to her current role, Pepukaye spent almost a decade working on energy access issues and played a significant role in thought leadership on opportunities and challenges to scaling up commercially viable off-grid systems, primarily in Africa and South Asia. From 2018-2020, on external service from IFC, she served as founding Chief Executive Officer of the Climate Resilience Execution Agency for Dominica (CREAD), leading the country’s recovery and long-term adaptation efforts following the devastation caused by 2017’s Category 5 Hurricane Maria; her work included setting up the agency, overseeing delivery of US$250m in projects, and developing a Climate Resilience and Recovery Plan to 2030. Before joining IFC, Pepukaye worked with McKinsey & Co., based in Copenhagen and London, serving clients across two dozen countries on strategic and operational issues in the energy, mining and economic development spaces. She holds a BSc. in Mechanical Engineering from the Illinois Institute of Technology (USA), MSc. in Environmental Management from the National Institute of Applied Sciences (France), and PhD in Energy and Environmental Systems Studies from Lund Institute of Technology (Sweden).

Miguel Franco

Miguel Franco

Director, Energy and Climate Change, RTI International

Mr. Miguel Franco has over 25 years of experience in international development and environmental management focusing on climate change, renewable energy, green recovery and natural resources management projects in more than 40 countries across the Americas, Asia, Africa, and Europe. Throughout his career, Mr. Franco has dedicated his leadership to implementing cleaner production/energy efficiency and bioenergy projects, leveraging financial partnerships and private sector engagement to create sustainable impact. He has managed and provided technical assistance to climate change programs focusing on implementing approaches and practices to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, while also increasing rural economic development, climate resilience, and wastewater and pollution control. His approach involves a broad range of government and private sector stakeholders, as well as vulnerable and marginalized populations, ensuring the programming he leads yields maximum buy-in and long-lasting results. In his current role as Chief of Party on the $54M USAID-funded, RTI-implemented, Power Africa Off-grid Project (PAOP), Mr. Franco leads a 26 country project aimed to accelerate off-grid electrification across sub-Saharan Africa. The project provides technical assistance and targeted grant funding to advance green recovery and support the development of Africa’s off-grid solar home system (SHS) and mini-grid sectors. Additionally, under Mr. Franco’s management, PAOP has mobilized more than $500 million in investments for energy projects through support to investors and off-grid energy companies to address the dual crises of climate change and the COVID-19 economic crisis. The project works with companies to raise equity and debt through end-to-end capital raise activities, executive coaching, legal advisory support, pitch deck development, and grant application support. Mr. Franco and his Access-to-Finance team work directly with local financial institutions and investors to develop bankable pipelines and perform due diligence.

Kumayl Khaleeli

Kumayl Khaleeli

Chief Executive Officer, Zephyr Power

Kumayl Khaleeli is an entrepreneur and the current CEO of Zephyr Power Limited, a renewable energy company in Pakistan. Under his leadership, Zephyr has become a 50-megawatt wind Independent Power Project in Gharo, Sindh. Prior to Zephyr, Kumayl worked with Sonnedix Japan, a solar photovoltaic developer and IPP with a target to acquire and build a minimum capacity of 350-megawatt of solar power in Japan. He has also worked with financial, development, and technology partners to develop renewable energy technologies and projects, and to secure financing to build IPPs in emerging markets. He has over 7 years of institutional investment management and investment banking experience, and more than 10 years’ experience in renewable energy.

Jake Levine

Jake Levine

Chief Climate Officer, U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC)

Jake Levine most recently served as Associate and Policy Advisor at Covington & Burling, advising clients on a broad range of policy, regulatory, litigation, and commercial matters related to climate, clean energy, and clean air. Prior to joining Covington, Mr. Levine served as Senior Counsel and Principal Consultant to California State Senator Fran Pavley, where he led a team focused on state policy related to climate change, electric vehicles, energy storage, and drought and water policy. As part of his duties in the State Senate, Levine led the successful campaigns to draft, design, and enact SB 32 (Pavley) and AB 197 (Garcia)— landmark climate and environmental justice legislation in California—and to transition the Aliso Canyon natural gas storage facility toward clean energy storage solutions. Mr. Levine also served as Chief of Staff to the President of Opower, a software firm (now Oracle Utilities) that uses big data and behavioral science technology to help consumers save energy. In that role, Mr. Levine managed a series of cross-organizational projects, including development of policy innovation, partnerships, and sales opportunities in Latin American and East Asia. Mr. Levine also served in the White House Office of Energy and Climate Change, where he developed innovative energy policies, including the most stringent fuel economy standards ever set and the first-ever greenhouse gas emissions standards for cars and trucks. He served as a member of President Obama's delegation to the U.N. Conference of Parties in Copenhagen, and as a member of California delegations to COP21 and COP22 in Paris and Marrakech, respectively.

Adva Saldinger

Adva Saldinger

Senior Reporter, Devex

Adva Saldinger is a Senior Reporter at Devex, where she covers the intersection of business and international development, as well as U.S. foreign aid policy. From partnerships to trade and social entrepreneurship to impact investing, Adva explores the role the private sector and private capital play in development. A journalist with more than 10 years of experience, she has worked at several newspapers in the U.S. and lived in both Ghana and South Africa.