WWF: Private investments can make a world of difference for climate entrepreneurs

Posted on 23 November 2012  | 
Gland, Switzerland – Financing for entrepreneurial clean energy initiatives are the single biggest inhibiter of a boom in energy efficiency and the renewable energy sector.

Innovative clean energy technologies abound worldwide in an unprecedented wave of climate entrepreneurship. The primary barrier to their success is the lack of sufficient funding, says Samantha Smith, leader of the WWF’s Global Climate and Energy Initiative.

Noting that WWF-Sweden had awarded six entrepreneurial companies the prestigious WWF Climate Solver award for 2012 today, she said renewable energy technologies present attractive possibilities for the public and private sectors as they seek alternatives to investments in unsustainable fossil fuels in the effort to curb dangerous climate change.

“The primary barrier to their success is the lack of sufficient funding. LED lighting for greenhouse farming, solar PV charging stations for electric vehicles and the production of pellets from biomass waste for efficient cook stoves are examples of a broader, growing and innovative bottom-up revolution which confirms the fact that a 100% renewable energy future is clearly within our reach,” she says.

The financial sector must play an active role in the massive shift necessary to redirect investments from fossil fuels towards clean technologies. “Innovative measures by the financial sector can instill confidence in policy makers and motivate them to support solutions through more stringent targets on emission cuts and other enabling domestic policy measures,” she says.

Investors have a palette of sophisticated, proven, and profitable investment tools at their disposal and there are numerous examples of how these are used in different markets, says Stefan Henningsson, manager of the Innovation programme within the Global Climate and Energy Initiative. 

“It is high time for the financial community to mainstream the use of these tools stimulating the growth of solutions that would dramatically reduce carbon dioxide emissions,” he says.

The Climate Solvers programme and awards are set to launch in China 13 December and India soon thereafter as well.
Cooking with a biogas stove, instead of burning firewood, eases the workload of women and saves forests.
© Simon de Trey White/ WWF-UK Enlarge
Renewable energy recognised by WWF are wind, solar, small hydro and biomass.
© WWF-Canon / Michel GUNTHER Enlarge

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