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Green Finance Approaches to Soil Remediation: International examples

The scale of global ecological degradation requires ever-greater scales of natural resources in need of repair.

With much of the degradation being the result of historic and cumulative environmental pressures for which traditional liability rules cannot generally work, new financial instruments and sources must be harnessed to fund restoration and remediation projects. Often environmental degradation will have direct, negative impacts on human well-being, most evidently on local communities living near affected areas. When degraded ecosystems pose an immediate threat to people’s livelihoods and health, such as in the case of contaminated soil or sediments, the political imperative to undertake remediation will be particularly strong.

A remediation strategy intended to ameliorate contamination in a specific area can have different costs and different results when applied to the same ecosystem type in a different geographic area due to variations in regional or country-specific cost structures, such as workers’ salaries and fuel costs. The size of the project also is a material factor.

Focusing on seven different cases using different financial measures, this report documents and analyzes how different financing instruments have been used to support soil remediation projects.

This report is a part of a series of outputs of a four-year project, Financing Models for Soil Remediation. The overall objective of the project is to harness the full range of green finance approaches and vehicles to manage the associated risk and fund the remediation of contaminated soils.