Call for ideas archive 2022

The Lab has selected seven new climate finance ideas for its acceleration program in 2022.

Learn more

What the Lab is looking for?

In 2022, the Lab will develop climate finance instruments from three thematic streams and three regional programs, plus one wildcard slot for the best idea across the adaptation and mitigation spectrum.

  • Sustainable Food Systems

    The UN Food Systems Summit last year highlighted the existing inequalities within food systems, while the COVID-19 crisis and impacts of climate change have exposed the fragility of such food systems across the globe. People living in poverty, and in particular women, indigenous people, and other vulnerable groups, are most affected by increased food insecurity through livelihoods and health impacts. Various activities in the value chains that make up food systems contribute to biodiversity loss and environmental degradation.

    At the same time, agriculture and forestry-related activities are the main sources of livelihoods in most developing economies, and sustainable food systems can bring long-term global solutions, for instance through ecosystem services, land management practices, and enhanced ownership and use of natural resources. It is therefore improved sustainability and resilience throughout the food system is of the utmost importance.

    With support from the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), the Lab is seeking proposals for innovative financial instruments that support sustainable food systems. Ideas should alleviate poverty, increase productivity, and address biodiversity and climate change. This includes solutions in production (including agrobiodiversity, agroecological practices, sustainable land management, etc.), waste management and input supply, as well as interacting systems, such as energy, market/trade, and health.

    Submissions should focus on lower-income countries in climate-stressed regions. Proposed sustainable finance vehicles should offer returns for private investors, create jobs and other local economic benefits, sustain biodiversity, be gender-sensitive, improve climate resilience, and/or decrease food-related emissions while supporting a green, resilient recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

    In addition to creating opportunities for private investors, successful ideas should incorporate different actors in the value chains as appropriate, e.g., producers/farmers (preferably smallholders), cooperatives and farmer organizations, buyers, distributors, and/or retailers. For additional guidance on ideas relating to agroforestry, forestry, and other land use, please check out the Call for Ideas Questionnaire Complement for AFOLU Ideas here.

    r additional guidance on ideas relating to agroforestry, forestry, and other land use, please check out the Call for Ideas Questionnaire Complement for AFOLU Ideas here.

  • Climate Adaptation

    Scaling up climate adaptation finance is critical to building global resilience to worsening climate impacts. While resilience investment is growing, it is far from what is needed. In 2019-2020, USD 46 billion was tracked in climate adaptation investment, compared to an estimated annual requirement of USD 140 to 300 billion annually in developing countries alone to address crucial climate-related risks. While the majority of this gap will need to be filled by private financiers, of the USD 46 billion in annual adaptation finance in 2019-2020, just USD 1 billion was tracked from private investors (approximately USD 500 million each from corporations and institutional investors). There is an urgent need to create bankable, adaptation investment opportunities in developing countries that will attract private investment and help to shift global investment trends.

    Adaptation financial instruments are often cross-sectoral and span interventions that build physical climate resilience of assets (e.g., infrastructure hardening and early warning systems), improve the climate-resilience of supply chains, and interventions that support systemic climate resilience (e.g., flood mapping, disaster risk management, and many nature-based solutions). There is a critical need to develop and scale a broad array of financial solutions, including project finance, insurance, bonds, and guarantees that enable capital to flow to adaptation investments.

    The Lab is seeking proposals for innovative financial instruments that, directly or indirectly, resolve market barriers and support scale-up of private finance for solutions that build climate resilience. Submissions should focus on climate-stressed regions, across developing countries, and should identify how the proposed financing approach would address specific climate risks and barriers to mobilizing finance for adaptation.

    Submitted finance vehicles should offer returns for investors and have a strategy to phase out public financial support while scaling private investment. Vehicles should also demonstrate potential to build climate resilience, avoid maladaptation, support improved livelihoods, and strengthen a broader financial ecosystem that can scale adaptation finance.

  • Zero Carbon Buildings

    Scaling up finance to sustainable buildings and construction activities is critical to reduce global emissions. Per IEA, the buildings and construction sector accounted for 39 percent of energy and process-related CO2 emissions in 2018. Aligning the built environment with sustainable pathways, particularly in emerging markets with accelerating urbanization, is essential to achieving global climate goals.

    The Lab is seeking proposals for innovative financial instruments that, directly or indirectly, resolve market barriers and support scale-up of private finance for solutions that generate climate benefits in the buildings and construction sector. Submissions should focus on emerging markets with significant existing or potential infrastructure growth.

    Proposed finance vehicles should support the mobilization of finance towards activities in the building and construction sector, offer returns for private investors, create jobs and other local economic benefits, thereby supporting a green, resilient recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. Target activities of financial instruments could include reduction in carbon intensity of building materials; use of sustainable local materials; improved heating/cooling and insulation design; construction of new or retrofitted net-zero public buildings and public housing.

  • Brazil

    Brazil aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 37% below 2005 levels by 2025, and by 43% by 2030. To this end, the country intends to achieve zero illegal deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon and to restore 12 million hectares of forests, while also increasing the use of renewables to 45% of the energy mix, among other measures. However, like in many emerging economies, funding to meet these targets remains a challenge.

    The Lab is seeking transformative investment solutions that can drive funds for Brazil’s national climate priorities.

    The Brazil program is funded by the Federal Ministry of the Environment, Nature Protection, and Nuclear Safety of Germany (BMU), through implementation support from the German Society for International Cooperation (GIZ).

  • India

    The Government of India has made it a national priority to drive development and access to electricity through cleaner growth, such as renewable energy and energy efficiency, including through an ambitious target of 40% of its electricity generation capacity from non-fossil fuel sources by 2030. However, India needs more capital, and at more attractive terms, in order to build the green infrastructure required.

    Increasing investment from the private sector is essential to driving the country’s infrastructure growth. Currently, high risks and other poor terms of financing may be limiting investment potential in India.

    The Lab is seeking innovative solutions to finance infrastructure for renewable energy and other channels for green growth, providing concrete solutions to the unique financing challenges to investment in green infrastructure in India.

  • Southern Africa

    The Lab’s Southern Africa program is looking for innovative finance instruments that address issues unique to the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) region. Due to a combination of exposure to climate change stresses and low adaptive capacity, the SADC includes some of the most vulnerable countries to climate change.

    With 70% of regional water resources crossing national boundaries, water resource management is recognized by all Southern Africa states as a priority to act upon.

    Increasing sustainable energy production and access is another item at the top of most SADC states’ Nationally Determined Contributions agenda. By 2027, the SADC countries have pledged to fulfill their 150GW hydropower generation potential, from 12GW in 2013.

    Sustainable land use and forestry, transportation, and waste treatment are additional top priorities.

    National budgets can cover only a fraction of the required investments. International public and private financing, as well as capacity-building support, are needed for these countries to reach their targets


Nov 29 - Jan 01
Webinar: the Lab Call for Ideas 2023

The Global Innovation Lab for Climate Finance is accepting proposals for innovative climate finance ...


What happens if your idea is selected?

If your idea is selected by Lab Members, you will work with a team of analysts, key stakeholders, and experts to:


Develop or refine the mechanics of your idea.


Survey comparable instruments, ensuring the final instrument is innovative and impactful.


Develop robust financial modeling.


Assess and document potential social and environmental impacts.


Map risks and risk mitigation strategies.


Develop a detailed implementation plan.


Create promotional content.


Pitch your ideas to donors and investors.


Potentially receive endorsement from the Lab.

How ideas are selected


Applicants must fill in an online form (see PDF version for reference). A set of key criteria guides how submitted ideas are assessed and ranked

  • Actionable

    The Lab looks for ideas that demonstrate: (1) the involvement of entities able to implement the idea with relevant experience; (2) a clear pathway to implementation, including a defined timeframe, key activities, and project milestones; (3) identification of potential risks to implementation and strategies for dealing with them.

  • Catalytic

    The catalytic potential is the ability of the idea to mobilize private sources of climate finance. Ideas should demonstrate: (1) the potential for scale-up of private investment in the target market; (2) the ability or potential to replicate in other markets.

  • Innovative

    Successful Lab ideas demonstrate how the idea addresses barriers to climate finance that have either not yet been addressed or will be addressed more effectively than existing approaches in the market. In essence, the Lab looks for submissions that clearly articulate how the idea submitted is a value-add to other efforts in the space.

  • Financially Sustainable

    High-quality Lab ideas will have a clear strategy for phasing out public and philanthropic financial support over time and achieving market viability on commercial terms, even if that runway is long in certain cases. They should also identify challenges and risks to attain these objectives and strategies for managing them.

  • Value Add

    The Lab seeks to offer a significant value-add to the success of the selected ideas and teams, ensuring the capabilities of the Lab team and network complement the proposing team’s capabilities and needs. We look forward to working with teams with sufficient time and a functional governance structure to participate fully in the Lab process.

Why submit an idea?

Selected ideas receive guidance from high-level leaders from the public and private sectors, who contribute expertise, political support, and financial capital to the instruments.

See all Lab members

Selected ideas also benefit from robust analysis, stress-testing, and development by Climate Policy Initiative’s team of experts.

Meet the Lab experts




value of in-kind analytical and communications support received by selected Lab ideas




mobilized by endorsed Lab instruments

Who is involved?

Lab members

The Lab comprises over 70 expert institutions in government, development finance, philanthropy, and the private sector. The funders for the Lab’s 2023 cycle are included below. CPI serves as the Lab Secretariat.

German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ)
Rockefeller Foundation
Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency
UK Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy