Climate investors funnel cash into 9 international projects

Source: Benjamin Hulac, E&E News reporter • Posted: Tuesday, February 20, 2018

A clean finance group yesterday named nine projects it will support this year, with a focus on climate change in emerging markets.

The efforts picked by The Lab — a group funded by governments, philanthropies and corporations — target Brazil and India, two of the world’s top greenhouse gas emitters, as well as sub-Saharan Africa.

As the Trump administration has pulled back from the international stage, including by withdrawing support for global climate programs, nonprofit groups and philanthropies have rushed to fill some of that void. Since its founding in 2014, with help from United Kingdom, United States and German government agencies, including the U.S. Department of State, The Lab has led to roughly $1 billion in sustainable investment, according to its own figures.

“The nine new instruments tackle persistent investment barriers in a clean energy, low-carbon transit, and sustainable land use in developing countries, with a specific focus on Brazil and India,” the group said.

Among the projects that made the cut: a pitch for low-carbon electric rickshaws in India; long-term loans for farmers of “low-carbon” protein sources of fish, pigs and poultry; rooftop solar panels in India; and an effort to lower the cost of electric batteries, with initial pilots aimed for South Africa and India.

“The Lab is excited to help shape this new class of instruments,” Barbara Buchner, director of the Climate Policy Initiative, which oversaw the funding process, said in a statement. “They join an impressive group.”

Among the funders of The Lab are Bloomberg Philanthropies, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, and the Rockefeller Foundation.