The Climate Finance Initiative

Building the case to collectively grow climate innovation with private finance.

We bring out insights, blueprints, and approaches for improving climate financing and innovation structures in India

A Blueprint for Bridging India’s Climate Innovation Funding Gap

A Series on Strengthening Climate Finance in India

April 2021

A lot more new innovations need to be discovered to fight climate change. In India, the innovators are there, but they do need a more supportive environment.

Our report on A Blueprint for Bridging India’s Climate Innovation Funding Gap takes stock of the current innovation ecosystems in India, with a specific focus on the funding of innovation-driven startups. We identify both the gaps that exist and solutions that could kickstart and accelerate a culture of innovation to drive climate action in India.

The State of Climate Finance in India:
A Roadmap to 2030 for Private Action

November 2020

Our starting point to collaborate and engage with the ecosystem is the report on The State of Climate Finance in India: A Roadmap to 2030 for Private Action, a packed 23-pager including a critique on India’s Climate targets, what our Climate Goals should actually be, how we should finance the USD $100 billion additionally needed to achieve them, and introducing new financing structures we need to mainstream different climate action areas.

Scale Financing for India's Climate Assets

A Series on Strengthening Climate Finance in India

September 2021 (Upcoming)

Asset financing is critical for startups that have cracked early traction to get to scale. It makes products more accessible for a greater pool of customers, potentially at more competitive rates. Options for asset financing for climate startups in India, however are small.

Our next report will give the lay of the land in asset financing for climate. From what types of climate assets have such options, and their financiers, to how gaps, barriers, and cracking scale financing where it is inaccessible.

We pencil a newsletter on Climate Finance to keep you informed

The Climate Finance Initiative Newsletter offers quick digests and insights around what is happening in climate finance. While other parts of our current focus of work is India-centric, we capture a global perspective of climate finance in this newsletter on a fortnightly basis, a snapshot of our latest is below.

CFI Newsletter #11: A Consumers' Guide to Climate Finance

+ How would Douglas Adams' have written Last Chance to See today; the G7's commitment to transition away from coal; the expectation of PE fund managers on ESG (it's positive!); raw material shocks faced by the cleantech sector.

CFI Newsletter #10: Lessons from COVID-19 Financing

+ Recognising World Ecosystem Restoration day; the big climate shocks faced by Big Oil; IEA's recently published Net Zero Roadmap; and the failings around carbon offsets.

CFI Newsletter #9: Our Next Big Report Is Out

We launch our report on the Blueprint for Bridging India's Climate Innovation Funding Gap, talking about opportunities and gaps mainly at the early-stage in Climate Innovation Funding. Plus, two cool blueprints for us to build early-stage climate financing ecosystems around

Sign up for a bi-weekly (once in 2 weeks not the other bi-weekly) mail to your inbox for updates, insight, and commentary on developments around climate finance from across the world.

We engage in thought leadership to advocate for how climate innovation and financing can grow in India

India Needs Over $900 Billion in Climate Finance by 2030: This Roadmap Can Mobilize Private Sector Investment

Next Billion

A Guest Post in Next Billion on the back of our first published report, The State of Climate Finance in India, where we spoke about India's needs for private climate action, and a roadmap of how to get there

Fintechs and Sustainability: Envisioning Sustainable Fintech Bridges

Foraus and Swissnex

Simmi, one of the co-founders of CFI, was a speaker at Foraus and Swissnex's workshop on Fintech and Sustainability, which explored global viewpoints on how fintech can bridge sustainability gaps. Yes, bridging the Missing Middle was a featured talking point in the session.

Snehakunja Trust is a winner of the 2021 Equator Prize

Equator Initiative

The Snehakunja Trust, which has been protecting sensitive wetland and coastal ecosystems in the Western Ghats and the Karnataka coast for 45 years, was a winner of the 2021 Equator Prize, the Nobel-prize equivalent for conversation and biodiversity. Simmi, one of the founders of CFI, is a director of the Snehakunja Trust.

The State of Climate Finance in India: A Roadmap to 2030

The State of Climate Finance in India: A Roadmap to 2030 for Action is a long title but it does capture what we want to cover. The position paper, allows us to take stock of where we are right now, the work needed on climate action, the gaps we need to address, and the solutions and approaches for us to get there.

Roadmaps are plenty, but we think you will find this a bit different in laying out what is needed and how we need to get there.

Here's the TL;DR of The State of Climate Finance in India.

  • India needs USD 100 billion in additional climate finance every year for the next ten years to create positive impact and combat climate change by 2030.

  • This investment should be focused towards building additional renewable energy capacity, mitigating agricultural emissions while creating sustainable food supply, and building climate resilience in our cities.

  • Our existing structures for climate finance are ineffective to support innovation and growth in these emerging areas of climate action

  • We need an innovation demonstration facility combined with a fund run by business experts to convert each innovation into a successful startup hastening the pace of adoption for the first USD 10-100 million in revenue and asset deployment for emerging areas of climate-positive action.

  • We need an asset financing ecosystem to build traction and market adoption for technologies until they grow large enough to tap into international capital markets or raise traditional finance meant for mature products.

  • Liquid capital markets will be essential to achieve the massive scale all of these interventions will need in the next ten years.


A Blueprint for Bridging India’s Climate Innovation Funding Gap

A Blueprint for Bridging India’s Climate Innovation and Funding Gap takes stock of the current innovation ecosystems in India, with a specific focus on the funding of innovation-driven startups. We identify both the gaps that exist and solutions that could kickstart and accelerate a culture of innovation to drive climate action in India.

This report is the second in the series around Strengthening Climate Finance Structures in India that was kicked off by The State of Climate Finance in India, a report published in November 2020, which was aimed to throw light on how India’s Climate Action efforts needed new innovations and financing interventions.

Here's the TL;DR for Bridging India's Climate Innovation Funding Gap

Here's the TL;DR for A Blueprint for Bridging India's Climate Innovation Funding Gap

  • India needs transformative breakthrough innovations to combat climate change: adopting home-grown solutions and adapting global ones

  • The climate innovation ecosystem in India has largely followed the playbook of technology and software funding ecosystems and been ineffective.

  • Climate businesses have several elements that make a different playbook necessary: a need to build physical infrastructure and products instead of software; long development and deployment cycles; and red ocean markets where climate change innovations often compete directly with incumbent technologies.

  • There is a Missing Middle in India's climate innovation investment ecosystem, between incubation funding or a seed fund at the USD 100,000 from a seed fund and scale funding at around the USD 5 million and above range.

  • Solving this is the most effective way to accelerate India's climate innovation ecosystem: it needs structures that can validate technologies quickly, and carry these potential winners through at the early-stage through market growth and adoption

  • An Innovation Demonstration Facility for getting innovations from idea / prototype to piloting in commercial settings at a faster pace, with pathways for commercialization

  • A Climate Venture Studio acts as a hands-on venture partner to early stage climate innovators to make validated technology solutions into a revenue generating business by bringing in a combination of seed investment and a senior CXO team, and a wider ecosystem that these bring in