Who We Are


The Carbon Initiative for Development (Ci-Dev) is a World Bank trust fund that mobilizes private finance for clean energy access in low-income countries. It delivers results-based finance to innovative and transformative business models driven by the private sector. Through 2025, Ci-Dev will have mobilized more than $250 million in private finance to provide low-carbon energy to more than 10 million people in the communities most vulnerable to climate change.

Ci-Dev will purchase approximately $76 million in emission reductions from 13 energy access projects, 12 of which are in Sub-Saharan Africa and 1 in South Asia. The fund has utilized the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) as the methodological framework to quantify, verify and certify the emission reductions. However, the CDM will not be relevant after 2020 as the Paris Agreement replaces the Kyoto framework, driving the need for the international community to explore other types of crediting mechanisms (such as the Standardized Crediting Framework) to channel climate finance to client countries.


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  • To support private sector-led and -driven business models in the energy access sector that are both innovative and transformative by using results-based climate finance (RBCF).
  • To identify and support the specific and targeted uses of carbon revenues that may have an impact on these business models.
  • To test whether and how these roles of carbon revenues generate a hypothesized impact via execution of a robust knowledge management work program.
  • To generate lessons learned about how post-2020 transitions can take place using a real-world portfolio.

Scope of work

Increasing energy access

Ci-Dev provides financing for projects that support low-carbon energy access in low-income countries in collaboration with other parts of the World Bank Group.

Piloting innovative results-based climate finance

Ci-Dev uses results-based payments as a vehicle for financing energy access projects building on two decades of carbon finance experience of the World Bank Group.

New Standardized Crediting Framework

Building on the infrastructure that was created by the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), Ci-Dev developed a new, simplified approach to crediting emissions reductions – the Standardized Crediting Framework (SCF). The SCF improves transparency of national carbon crediting, reduces transaction costs, and potentially unlocks climate finance for the country.


Ci-Dev comprises two reinforcing components, the Readiness Fund and the Carbon Fund.

  • The Readiness Fund finances capacity building activities in least developed countries to develop standardized baselines and technical assistance for energy access programs. It supports the development of new methodologies and proposals for simplified CDM rules, and dissemination of results. Where needed, it also provides technical assistance to the projects and programs supported by the Carbon Fund.

  • The Carbon Fund provides performance-based payments to low-carbon investments in the form of purchases of certified carbon emission reductions.

The Carbon Initiative for Development (Ci-Dev) is a World Bank trust fund that mobilizes private finance for clean energy access in low-income countries.