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Collaborative Finance

Design and assessment of finance and business models for multi-stakeholder projects



4CMR staff are partnering with the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL) on a series of studies into the incorporation of natural capital into multi-stakeholder processes for climate change and sustainability. The initial project is examining catchment scale water projects in the UK, for which landowners, water companies, developers, farmers, insurance companies, local authorities, regulators, etc all have stakes in the delivery of climate resilient control of water. This includes stakeholders who benefit from flood protection, from increased reliability of water for their crops, from increased reliability of the supply of crops to the food market and other benefits of water control.

The challenge in such projects is that no one organisation is responsible for all drivers of change, no one organisation has adequate finance and no one organisation experiences all of the benefits. Hence there is a need for innovative finance mechanisms - coupled to governance processes - for bringing together the capital for such projects. The Collaborative Finance project is working with these stakeholders to design and test these finance innovations, and with CISL to facilitate the social process of mobilising efforts to move specific projects in the UK forward. 

An example of one of the collaborative finance models examined is shown below. This model assumes creation of a central management function within the local authority, which relies on taxes from organisations that benefit from flood control in financing the projects. 

water finance 2

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4CMR has finished its cycle, and has been replaced by the Cambridge Centre for Environment, Energy and Natural Resource Governance (C-EENRG). C-EENRG is also located in the Department of Land Economy, with a core mission to "conduct integrative research on the governance of environmental transitions, understood as social and technological processes driven by environmental constraints that lead to fundamental changes in social organisation."

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