Financing sustainable transition in the mountains after coronavirus

The 9th edition of the Moving Mountains Forum will take place in Les Diablerets (Switzerland) on Friday 4 September 2020. Due to the uncertainties arising from the coronavirus crisis, the forum will be held as a live webinar from the alpine village, where experts will debate.

 

 

Following the 2019 edition, which launched the “DiabLab”, the 9th Moving Mountains Forum will focus on the development of the project to renew public lighting in the commune of Ormont-Dessus, as a symbol of a concrete strategy for a sustainable transition, as well as on the financial capacities of mountain communities to achieve this transition, and possible solutions for these communities – with the added impact of COVID-19 looming.

 

Mountain communities face a threefold challenge: they must adapt their business practices and economic model, which means major investments and uncertain financial returns; at the same time, they must maintain, modernise and transform their infrastructures (energy, transport, roads, buildings, connectivity, etc.) sized to accommodate temporary populations that are much larger than their resident population; lastly, they are on the front line of the effects of climate change, which adds further financial burdens, strategic complexity and uncertainty. All of this often leads these municipalities to high levels of indebtedness, which are difficult to sustain in the long term. And the crisis created by the coronavirus pandemic has only added to these challenges.

 

How can this necessary transition be financed? What consequences will the pandemic have on this outcome? How can one not give up strategic decisions today that will bear fruit tomorrow? What tools are available to help overcome this essential step? How can the economic rhythm be brought into line with the democratic rhythm? The “DiabLab” proposes a first approach, through the follow-up of the project launched in September 2019 to replace the public lighting in the commune of Ormont-Dessus with a modern, environmentally friendly and energy-saving installation. On 4 September 2020, the Moving Mountains Forum will take stock of this experience, which brings together an energy company (Romand Energie) and a municipality. A range of experts from the world of finance, scientists, elected representatives of mountain communities and representatives of economic circles will meet in Les Diablerets to identify concrete avenues – respecting the health measures that will still be in place. The interactive conference will be broadcast live on the Internet.
This webinar version of the Forum will also serve as a preparation and launch platform for the 10th edition, scheduled for September 2021, which will broaden the focus to global financing for sustainable transition.