UNFCCC Offers Recommendations to Support Climate Entrepreneurs, Develop Innovative Technologies
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The UNFCCC Technology Executive Committee published a policy brief that provides recommendations on actions that encourage, guide and support entrepreneurs in their efforts to develop innovative climate technologies.

Climate technology incubators and accelerators can help entrepreneurs develop business acumen, market connections and technical capacity, as well as offer guidance on sources of and procedures for accessing finance.

Examples of climate entrepreneurship listed include the development of drought-tolerant crops in water-stressed areas, the deployment of new business models such as pay-as-you-go solar, and the development of a generator that harvests energy from rain, among others.

November 2018: A policy brief from the UNFCCC Technology Executive Committee (TEC) suggests ways for governments and the international community to encourage, guide and support entrepreneurs in their efforts to develop innovative climate technologies. The brief titled, ‘Energizing Entrepreneurs to Tackle Climate Change: Addressing Climate Change through Innovation,’ highlights the role of climate technology incubators and accelerators, and describes the initiatives of climate entrepreneurs from around the world.

The brief points to international frameworks that explicitly mention technological innovation, such as Article 10 of the Paris Agreement on climate change and SDGs 7 (affordable and clean energy), 8 (decent work and economic growth), 9 (industry, innovation and infrastructure), and 17 (partnerships for the Goals). It articulates the role that entrepreneurs can play in tackling climate change and means of helping them do so. The TEC stresses, however, that entrepreneurs in developing countries face limited opportunities to engage, lack enabling policy environments, and often field little support for undertaking climate innovation activities.

Climate technology incubators and accelerators, the brief notes, can provide a wide range of support to entrepreneurs, including helping them develop business acumen, market connections and technical capacity, as well as providing them with guidance on sources of and procedures for accessing pots of finance. The brief complements an earlier joint publication, authored by the TEC with the Green Climate Fund (GCF) and Climate Technology Centre and Network (CTCN), by highlighting measures that can help entrepreneurs leverage these facilities to innovate on climate technologies.

There are many ways in which an individual can contribute to the achievement of climate and development goals.

Aimed at addressing participants in the 24th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 24) to the UNFCCC, the TEC recommends that governments and non-State actors alike work to enhance the effectiveness and impact of “climate entrepreneurs” by:

  • developing a strong national entrepreneurial environment;
  • promoting opportunities and providing incentives for actors to engage in entrepreneurship and focus on climate technologies; and
  • enhancing the effectiveness of incubation models for supporting climate entrepreneurs.

The TEC defines what an entrepreneur is, noting the many ways in which an individual can be entrepreneurial or contribute to the achievement of climate and development goals. Examples of climate entrepreneurship listed include the engineering or sale of drought-tolerant crops in water-stressed areas, the deployment of new business models such as pay-as-you-go solar, and the development of a generator that harvests energy from rain, among others.

The TEC was created in 2010 as the policy arm of the UNFCCC Technology Mechanism, focusing on “identifying policies that can accelerate the development and transfer of low-emission and climate-resilient technologies.” The TEC is comprised of 20 experts from developed and developing countries, and reports on performance and activities to the COP. Key TEC focus areas include: adaptation and mitigation technologies; climate technology financing; technology needs assessments (TNAs); innovation and technology research, development, and demonstration (RD&D); and emerging and cross-cutting issues. The Katowice Climate Change Conference convening in Poland from 2-14 December 2018. [Publication: Energizing Entrepreneurs to Tackle Climate Change: Addressing Climate Change through Innovation] [Publication Landing Page] [TEC Website] [SDG Knowledge Hub Institutional Finance Update Discussing TEC Publication on Catalyzing Finance for Incubators and Accelerators]

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