Joining forces for eco-inclusive Climate Action at COP24
SEED exihibition booth at COP24 in Katowice, Poland
As global leaders joined together in Katowice to determine the future of our planet, our SEED team was present at COP24 to demand that Climate Action takes the lead of SEED-supported small and growing enterprises.
Climate action starts with us – not only by thinking twice about the carbon footprint of investing in a new pair of jeans, but also with determining how we value businesses. The small and growing eco-inclusive enterprises that we support at SEED remind us that good business means shifting the definition of “value creation” from mere profit generation to acknowledge the transformative power of small and growing enterprises. Eco-inclusive enterprises create environmental, social and economic value to society through their products and services. Exemplary SEED-supported enterprises are central levers in the promotion of socially inclusive climate change adaptation and mitigation solutions that address the needs of populations most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change and therefore require greater support through our Climate Action.
What do we demand from leaders at COP24?
This year at COP24 in Katowice, SEED showcased the success stories of SEED-supported enterprises across sectors and urged stakeholders from private, public and social sectors to acknowledge and bolster the transformative role of entrepreneurship in combatting climate change and furthering sustainable development.
Celebrate and strengthen innovative business models that generate social and lasting ecological value through NDCs.
The SEED Low Carbon Award Winners 2018 have innovated contextually-relevant products and services which support climate change adaptation and mitigation along their value chains to generate both environmental and social value. The solutions innovated by these enterprises range from a mobile app that eases waste management and green consumption, decentralised organic fertilizer production, urban composting solutions, upcycled and durable construction materials, to eco-efficient cooking fuel and appliances.
In fulfilling country-level Nationally Determined Contributions as set-out in the Paris Agreement, we need to collectively implement support mechanisms which make it easier for environmentally sustainable and socially inclusive businesses to start-up and scale-up. By cultivating the entrepreneurial spirit and capacities of small and growing enterprises through policy action, we can direct who is included in global dialogues and guarantee that market-based solutions which reach the most vulnerable populations are centrally featured in our responses to climate change.
Increase public and private climate finance for climate-smart innovation driven by small and growing enterprises.
Alongside demands for increased attention within NDCs to the contributions of small and growing eco-inclusive enterprises to climate action, eco-inclusive entrepreneurship must be leveraged through climate finance and private-sector investment. Small and medium-sized enterprises often lack adequate financing to move beyond the start-up phase and optimise the social, environmental and economic benefits. In determining attractive climate finance investment portfolios, these eco-inclusive enterprises and their financing needs must be included.
Our SEED Practitioner Labs Climate Finance – across India, Thailand and Uganda in 2018 – joined together experts from financial institutions, NGOs, academia and the public sector to prototype climate finance products that support green economic growth in direct response to the financing needs of eco-inclusive enterprises. The SEED Labs resulted in the development of 10 climate finance products and revealed the wide field of innovation opportunities for private-sector investment opportunities that further climate change adaptation and mitigation measures.
To name a few examples, product developers in Uganda (where I was present) innovated prototypes for:
Mobile-enabled microinsurance for smallholder farmers in Uganda which improves the delivery and servicing of existing agriculture insurance to increase the reach of insurance for a more climate-resilient and adaptation-ready agriculture sector.
Irrigation system microleasing for high-value commercial crops offers buy-back options for private sector risk management and the adaptation and productivity benefits of reduced dependence on rainfed agriculture.
Syndicate for renewable energy infrastructure financing provides private-sector investors with risk-sharing mechanisms that build confidence in climate mitigation measures through renewable energy financing.
These examples represent the new norm which we should support through a clear definition of climate finance that increases deal flow to solutions directed at the base of those most impacted by climate change – including small-scale agribusinesses and off-grid and mini/micro-grid energy consumers in remote areas.
How do we plan to drive forward eco-inclusive Climate Action? And how can you join us?
Alongside COP24, we are asking global leaders to not overlook but increase support for entrepreneurship as an effective way to meet our climate change mitigation and adaptation benefits in a socially inclusive way. This includes by defining climate finance while keeping in mind the needs of small and medium-sized enterprises that are best positioned to address the adaptation and mitigation needs of the communities within which they are based.
We were inspired by conversations with other COP24 attendees and their similar commitment to promoting market-based solutions driven by socially inclusive and environmentally sustainable innovation. Together with these supporters of eco-inclusive Climate Action, we are feeling energised to start the New Year at SEED.
“We are here to talk more about why knowledge sharing is important for combatting climate change. I think knowledge sharing should start from the ground level. That is why small and medium sized enterprises play a vital role in tackling climate change.” – Energypedia
“The importance of SMEs, to me, and Climate Action is innovation to bring up new ideas for how to change the established economies and how to implement new technologies” – Low Carbon Cement Project EPFL
“We host a lot of dialogues were we connect youth and entrepreneurs that are already actively doing their businesses in markets.” – Green Environment Youth Korea
Support us in building on the momentum gained during COP24 and championing the role of eco-inclusive entrepreneurship in climate action at our upcoming SEED South Africa Symposium 2019 from 2-3 April which brings together over 150 enterprises, financial institutions, policy-makers and business development service providers to develop innovative approaches and partnerships to improve support offered to socially inclusive and environmentally sustainable enterprises. Find out more here.