2019 Global Innovation Lab for Climate Finance call for innovative sustainable investment ideas

Deadline: December 19, 2018.

As nations and businesses work to tackle both climate challenge and development goals, access to finance has emerged as a critical element. Private investors – often supported by public policy and finance – are already channeling significant amounts of money into the low-carbon economy in countries around the world, but much more investment is needed. This is particularly true for developing countries, which often face difficulties attracting private investment at the scale needed to reach their sustainable development and energy access goals.

The Lab network accelerates well-designed financial instruments that can unlock billions for energy efficiency, renewable energy, sustainable transport, climate smart agriculture, and curbing deforestation, while also reducing private investors’ risks and improving their financial returns. A public-private partnership, the Lab brings together and catalyzes broader government and private sector efforts to scale up climate finance.



  1. The Lab is seeking ideas for financial instruments that can unlock investment for climate mitigation and adaptation projects in developing countries.
  2. This year, the Lab has a special call for ideas that target sustainable agriculture for smallholders in West & Central Africa, sustainable energy access, blue carbon in coastal & marine ecosystems, and sustainable cities. Ideas that target other sectors will also be considered.



Successful ideas are selected by Lab Members and other experts based on the following criteria:

  1. Actionable:Identifies

(1) the type of entity(ies) that could implement it, 

(2)the pathway towards implementation, including the timeframe, activities, and key milestones, and 

(3) possible challenges to implementation and related management strategies.

  1. Innovative : Demonstrates the ability to address, directly or indirectly, barriers to private climate finance that

(1) have not yet been addressed or 

(2) that will be addressed more effectively compared to other instruments in the market.

  1. Catalytic: Demonstrates potential to

(1) mobilize private climate capital within a sizeable market,

(2) be scaled up or replicated in other contexts and,

(3) achieve socioeconomic, development, and environmental impacts.

  1. Financially Sustainable: Identifies

(1) a strategy to phase out public financial support, thereby achieving market viability and

(2) possible challenges to achieving its intended objectives and related management strategies.



For the 2019 cycle, all selected ideas will be taken forward by the Global Lab program. If your idea is selected by Lab Members, you will work with a team of analysts, key stakeholders, and experts to:

  Develop or refine the mechanics of your idea

 Survey comparable instruments, ensuring the final instrument is innovative and impactful

 Develop robust financial modeling

 Assess and document potential social and environmental impacts

  Map risks and risk mitigation strategies

 Develop a detailed implementation plan

 Produce promotional content

 Present your idea to donors and investors

 Potentially receive endorsement from the Lab


The Lab

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