Accelerating Climate Solutions (ACS) Program Summary

Climate change is a very major threat facing humanity in the 21st Century. Leading scientists have called it an ‘existential threat to civilization’. Despite the alarming news and mounting pressure for urgent action, the political process appears to be in a stalemate. COP25 in December 2019 did not reach an agreement for coordinated large-scale action on climate change.

However, not only will the political process not likely achieve the greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) reduction goals of the Paris Agreement fast enough, but public funding sources are not sufficient given the scale of investment required. Morgan Stanley estimates that the world needs to spend $50 trillion by 2050 to reduce net carbon emissions to zero and meet the Paris Agreement. In addition, UNDP estimates that 85 to 90 percent of the funds needed to achieve the Paris Agreement need to come from the private sector. Therefore, emergency action is required and most of the money to finance this action needs to come from the private sector.

Fortunately, the alarming news about climate change and dire warnings about the expected financial impact of this change are driving financial stakeholders to advocate climate action. While climate related risks represent an unprecedented threat to the global economic system, investing in solutions that mitigate or adapt to climate change (Climate Solutions) has become what some experts are calling an unparalleled business opportunity.

To help seize this opportunity, ClimateSAN has developed an initiative with two streams to accelerate the development and scale up of Climate Solutions by introducing these Climate Solutions to wealthy investors. The first stream has been launched and focuses on proven, investment-ready solutions and the second stream, which focuses on promising early stage solutions, is expected to be launched in the near future.

Our team is currently working with faculty at Ryerson and York Universities on an initiative entitled “Development of Methods to Increase Funding for Scaling-up Climate Solutions,” which seeks to accelerate investment in proven, investment-ready Climate Solutions by connecting them with available capital. Since there are many very promising early stage Climate Solutions that should be rapidly developed and scaled-up, we are expanding this initiative to also help accelerate the development, implementation and commercialization of these early stage solutions.

There is already broad support across the political spectrum in many countries for the development and scale-up of Climate Solutions funded by private investors. Although no agreement has been reached by world leaders to implement adequate coordinated action on climate change, when this agreement is finally achieved, our proposed initiative will enable many more Climate Solutions to be ready for rapid implementation on a global scale.

To view our concept note related to this program, see: “Accelerate Development and Scale-up of Climate Solutions“.