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LJD Week 2023 | Financing Energy Transition: Crowding in The Next Generation of Private Investment

November 13, 2023
Virtual & In-Person

As the world seeks to mitigate the dramatic and accelerating impact of the climate crisis, the transition from fossil fuels to clean energy is of paramount importance. Private capital does not yet see the right balance of risk and reward in clean-energy projects, especially in emerging and developing economies (EMDEs). Yet, it is precisely these economies that are positioned to determine the fate and future of the global energy transition. With the largest growth in emissions projected to come from EMDEs over the next few decades, it has become a global imperative to find a way to overcome the hurdles to rapid, large-scale deployment of clean-energy technologies in these economies.

This discussion will focus on the pathway to shoring up the next generation of investments for the energy transition in EMDEs. It will explore opportunities for and challenges to the scale-up of such investments, and the roles that the international development and investment communities, alongside governments, may each play in harnessing these opportunities and rising to these challenges. In assessing recent developments and current trends in climate finance, this session will aim to look critically at what is possible and what is practical in the context of EMDEs, covering topics ranging from financing structures to incentive frameworks to the public-private relationship.

  • Makhtar-Diop
    Makhtar Diop (opening remarks)
    Managing Director, International Finance Corporation

    Makhtar Diop has been Managing Director of the International Finance Corporation (IFC) since March 2021. Prior to this appointment, he was the World Bank’s Vice President for Infrastructure, where he led the Bank’s global efforts to build sustainable infrastructure in developing and emerging economies. In this role, he also oversaw the Bank’s critical work in energy, transport, digital infrastructure, and public-private partnerships. Prior to this, Mr. Diop served as the World Bank’s Vice President for Africa, Director for Finance, Private Sector & Infrastructure in the Latin America and the Caribbean Region, Country Director for Brazil, and Country Director for Kenya, Eritrea, and Somalia. Mr. Diop has also held government positions, most notably as Minister of Economy and Finance of Senegal. A recognized opinion leader in the economic and social development field, he has been named one of the 100 most influential Africans in the world and received the prestigious Regents’ Lectureship Award in 2015.


                        @Diop_IFC                    @IFC_org

  • Vera-Rechsteiner
    Vera A. Rechsteiner
    Partner, Hunton Andrews Kurth

    Vera Rechsteiner is Partner at Hunton Andrews Kurth. Her practice concentrates on the development, financing, acquisition and disposition of energy, oil and gas, and infrastructure facilities and tax structuring for energy acquisitions and international project development. She has worked on energy, infrastructure and related projects in the U.S. and throughout Latin America, Africa and Asia. Ms. Rechsteiner’s work in the area of international energy transactions has included advising U.S. energy companies in connection with mergers and acquisitions, cross-border acquisitions, joint venture tax-planning, equipment sale and leasing transactions, and the development and financing of energy projects and acquisitions. In addition, she has assisted governments in a number of Latin American countries with the privatization of their energy industries and the restructuring of their energy regulatory frameworks. Ms. Rechsteiner has been named among Latin America’s Top 100 Lawyers for Banking and Finance and Project Finance by Latinvex.



  • Demetrios-Papathanasiou
    Demetrios Papathanasiou
    Global Director for Energy and Extractives, World Bank

    Demetrios Papathanasiou leads the Global Units of the Energy and Extractives Global Practice of the World Bank. He coordinates the overall strategic direction of the Practice, advances the knowledge and learning agenda for the Bank’s energy and extractives professionals, and oversees corporate reporting, trust funds, and partnerships for the Practice. Dr. Papathanasiou has worked for more than 20 years with the World Bank Group on Energy and Infrastructure in Africa, Latin America, East Europe and the Balkans, South Asia, East Asia and the Pacific Islands. He has contributed to developing energy policies in several countries and worked on power generation projects using many diverse technologies: thermal, hydropower, solar, wind, and geothermal. He has led large teams on complex utility and sector reforms, as well as sizeable public-private partnership transactions. As Manager for the Bank’s Energy Practice in South Asia, he was responsible for a portfolio of more than $10 billion.


                        @DemetriosPapat2                    @WBG_Energy

  • Ettie-Philitas
    Ettie Philitas
    Executive Director and Head of Infrastructure Debt, JPMorgan Asset Management

    Ettie Philitas is an Executive Director with J.P. Morgan Asset Management, where he serves as Head of Infrastructure Debt. He is also a member of the Infrastructure Debt Group’s Investment Committee and a Portfolio Manager. He was previously an Investment Director with Africa50’s Project Finance team where he originated and managed infrastructure investments across Africa. Prior to that, Mr. Philitas was an Associate with the Private Credit team at KKR, where he focused on direct lending, opportunistic credit, special situations, and equity investments. He has also worked with the Private Debt team at Muzinich & Co. and with the Leveraged Finance Origination & Restructuring group at Credit Suisse, where he advised clients on over $19bn of high-yield and leveraged loan financings and provided dedicated coverage to issuers in the Power & Utilities space. Mr. Philitas began his career as an Analyst with Deutsche Bank’s Private Wealth Management group in New York.


                        @Ettie_Philitas                    @WBG_Energy

  • Sameena-Dost
    Sameena Dost (moderator)
    Senior Counsel, World Bank

    Sameena Dost is Senior Counsel in the Structured Finance and Guarantees Unit of the Legal Department of the World Bank. She focuses on the World Bank’s structured finance and guarantee operations, including pan-World Bank Group platforms such as the Scaling Solar Program. She has also worked on the Bank’s lending operations, focusing on the energy and infrastructure sectors. Prior to joining the World Bank, Ms. Dost had worked as a litigation attorney with the World Trade Organization in Geneva. She began her career as an investment banker at Credit Suisse in energy and oil and gas in New York and London. Ms. Dost holds an undergraduate degree from Yale University and graduate degrees from University of Oxford and Harvard Law School. She is admitted to the bar in New York and Mumbai.


  • WHEN: November 13, 2023, 10:30 AM-12:00 PM ET
  • WHERE: Preston Auditorium, World Bank Group Headquarters, Washington, D.C.
  • SOCIAL MEDIA: #LJDWeek2023