Climate Policy Initiative
Senior Advisor, Climate Finance
Vikram Widge is Senior Advisor at CPI where he supports strategy and programmatic development, as well as guides financial aspects of CPI’s analytical work. With over three decades of leadership experience in climate and development finance, Vikram specializes in bridging public finance with capital markets and investors to drive a transformation to a low-carbon, climate-resilient future. Vikram most recently served as Global Head of Climate Finance and Policy at the International Finance Corporation where he led a diverse unit. He has also served in leadership for climate finance across the World Bank Group. In these roles, Vikram directed market-leading work on innovative finance, green bond standards, carbon pricing, climate risk and adaptation, and climate-related metrics and analytics. He also led the first-ever reporting aligned with the recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) by a multilateral development bank. In the early 2000s, he built IFC’s carbon finance business, which ultimately had over $250 million under management, and from 2014-2016 directed the World Bank Group’s carbon markets business with USD 3+ billion under management. For his contributions to market-based solutions, Vikram was recently recognized as an Honorary Fellow by the International Emissions Trading Association (IETA). Throughout his career, Vikram has prioritized delivering innovative financial solutions that address sustainable development challenges. Among others, these included the Breathe Better Bond, which was endorsed by the Global Innovation Lab for Climate Finance in 2019; a low-income African clean cookstoves financing facility that won the 2018 IFC Corporate award; the $152 million inaugural Forests Bond, which was recognized by Environmental Finance magazine as the 2017 Sustainable Forestry Deal of the Year; the $50 million Pilot Auction Facility for short-lived pollutants to maximize climate benefits via auctions and put options that was awarded the 2016 Carbon Deal of the Year by Environmental Finance magazine; and a €150 million carbon fund that was oversubscribed by known-name investors including European utilities, energy companies, and an investment bank. Vikram has extensive experience supporting developing country governments to create investment opportunities in line with their goals, as well as advising investors on finding and developing sustainable financing strategies. He is frequently invited as a moderator and speaker for international conferences on topics of climate finance, carbon pricing and markets, and mobilizing private capital. He served as an advisor to the Global Innovation Lab for Climate Finance since its inception. He is currently a non-resident Senior Fellow at the Adrienne Arsht-Rockefeller Foundation Resilience Center at the Atlantic Council in Washington, DC, and on the Advisory Board of GoImpact Capital Partners in Hong Kong. Vikram has a bachelor’s degree in engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology in Delhi, India and a master’s degree in resource economics from the University of Maryland, USA, where he was a research scholar and graduate fellow. In addition to English, he speaks Hindi, as well as some Punjabi and Urdu. Vikram is based in Washington, D.C.