Lucas Black is Vice President of Climate Finance at WWF-US. The need to address the climate crisis while halting nature loss is more urgent than ever before. Over the next decade, demand for climate investments that address these dual goals will grow exponentially, with particular interest from both the public and private sectors to utilize nature-based solutions (NBS) financed through blended public-private finance and carbon markets to address these challenges. Lucas and his team are focused on designing, developing, and implementing innovative financial structures to mobilize funding for high-quality NBS interventions in priority WWF landscapes, working in close cooperation with a variety of WWF Goal teams. Lucas also oversees WWF’s engagement as an accredited entity for the Green Climate Fund, a financial mechanism of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
Lucas brings more than twenty years of hands-on experience in blended finance in both the public and private sectors. Prior to joining WWF, Lucas spent more than twelve years working in various roles for the United Nation Development Program’s (UNDP) Nature, Climate and Energy practice. He provided advisory support on financing structures to UN program teams and government stakeholders in more than sixty countries and led the development of UNDP programming guidance for several innovative products (guarantees and performance-based payments). Lucas spent six years as a UNDP technical advisor and team leader for environment based in South Africa and Turkey. He has designed projects in the areas of climate change, sustainable energy, food systems, and land, water, and biodiversity conservation for some of the world’s major environmental funds – including the GEF and GCF – and led the registration of several first-of-their-kind carbon finance projects in East and Southern Africa.
Prior to working with the United Nations, Lucas was an associate country director in the Africa group of the Millennium Challenge Corporation. Before that he was an associate in the Latin America investment banking group of Deutsche Bank Securities, where he helped originate and execute debt, equity, and strategic advisory transactions for corporate and sovereign clients.
Lucas holds a Master’s degree in International Affairs from Columbia University and a Bachelor’s degree from Stanford University. He given high-level presentations and provided trainings on climate change finance at the G20 Climate Sustainability Working Group and numerous universities. He is based in Portland, Oregon.