The Lab selected six innovative climate finance ideas to develop in 2023.


Call for ideas archive 2023

The Lab selected six innovative climate finance ideas to develop in 2023.

What the Lab is looking for?

Lab Guidelines for Applicants

In 2023, the Lab will develop six climate finance ideas from two thematic streams and three regional programs, plus one open idea.

  • Adaptation

    Scaling up investment in climate adaptation is critical to building global resilience to worsening climate impacts. While adaptation investment is growing, it is far from what is needed. In 2019-2020, of the total USD 632 billion annually tracked to climate finance, just USD 46 billion was committed to climate adaptation. It is urgent to create opportunities in developing countries that will attract public and private investment in adaptation.

    With the support of the U.S. Department of State, the Lab is seeking proposals for innovative financial instruments and solutions that channel investment into building systemic climate resilience and respond to growing climate risk. 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.

    Submissions should focus on climate-stressed regions in developing countries and identify how the proposed financing approach would address specific physical climate risks and overcome barriers to mobilizing finance for climate adaptation. Submissions should also include a plan to phase down public financial support while offering attractive risk-adjusted returns to investors to scale private investment. Lastly, ideas should demonstrate potential to avoid maladaptation, support improved livelihoods, and strengthen the broader financial ecosystem in the implementation country(ies).

  • Gender Equality

    There is growing consensus that women act as benefit multipliers for climate change mitigation and adaptation, playing an important role in their businesses, communities, and homes. Women are a catalytic force for adopting sustainable land use practices as well as for clean cooking, heating, and lighting. Women have also been found to be more concerned about climate risks than men, and companies with women in leadership positions are more likely to adopt sustainability practices and lower carbon emissions.

    While leveraging women’s unique roles as consumers, workers, and borrowers is increasingly recognized as imperative to advancing climate goals, climate finance has not sufficiently tapped into women’s potential. Worldwide, women receive only 7% of total agriculture investments, while 80% of women-owned business struggle to access finance. Furthermore, since climate change disproportionately impacts women, climate finance that does not consider women’s specific needs can severely undermine the sustainability of climate investments. More gender-responsive climate finance can address impact inequalities and catalyze women’s empowerment and ensure effective and “smart” climate finance.

    Aiming to fill these gaps and with support from FinDev Canada and Global Affairs Canada, the Lab is seeking proposals for financial solutions that have both the advancement of gender equality and addressing climate change mitigation or adaptation as core objectives. Ideas must directly impact and provide specific outcomes for gender equality and women empowerment. Check additional resources and the FAQ.

  • 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, 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 financing terms may be limiting India’s investment potential.

    With support from Bloomberg Philanthropies, 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.

  • Brazil

    Brazil aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 37% below 2005 levels by 2025 and 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 challenging.

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

    The United Kingdom Department for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy funds the Brazil program.

  • East and Southern Africa

    The Lab’s East and Southern Africa program seeks innovative finance instruments that address issues unique to the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) and the East Africa Community (EAC) regions. Due to a combination of exposure to climate change stresses and low adaptive capacity, they include some of the most vulnerable countries to climate change.

    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.

  • Open Idea

    Alongside the five ideas that will be developed in the Lab’s 2023 specific sectoral or regional streams, the Lab will also develop one climate finance idea that targets any climate-relevant sector in any developing country. Submissions to this open stream should explain clearly why the target sector and geography identified should be priorities for climate finance mobilization. Ideas could cover a variety of sectors, including, but not limited to, nature-based solutions, renewable energy, food systems, or land use.


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 ...

Nov 30 - Jan 01
Webinar: Seleção de ideias para o Lab 2023

O Global Innovation Lab for Climate Finance está com inscrições abertas para soluções inovadoras em ...


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 the market landscape of comparable solutions and assess the idea's viability and impact potential.


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 and pitch your ideas to donors and investors.


Potentially receive endorsement from the Lab.


Get implementation support to execute go to market strategy.

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.

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




invested by Lab members and observers




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.

Bloomberg Philanthropies
Canadian Government
Findev Canada
German Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Action
UK Department for Energy Security and Net Zero
US Department of State