The Ideas

The ideas featured on this page have been shortlisted as the most promising transformative green finance instruments from hundreds of submissions via an open call for ideas. At the beginning of each Lab cycle, Lab Members vote on the top several shortlisted ideas to move into development, benefiting from guidance from Lab Members and expert working groups, as well as from in-depth analysis provided by the Lab Secretariat. Depending on their development, at the end of each cycle, several instruments are endorsed by the Lab for launch and piloting. For more details about the Lab’s approach, visit how it works.

Endorsed 2019

A dedicated blended finance fund providing financial and technical support to smallholder farmer organizations and agribusinesses to adopt climate-smart agriculture practices in West Africa

Endorsed 2019

A standardized, digital index crop insurance platform for smallholder farmers that addresses the impacts of climate change on crop production by making insurance more transparent, efficient, and scalable

Endorsed 2019

A securitization which allows solar developers’ to obtain capital to expand their sales, meeting the clean energy access needs of African households

Endorsed 2019

A social enterprise that finances and manages implementation of mangrove restoration and conservation by capturing the financial benefits generated by reducing property damage risks and storing blue carbon

Endorsed 2019

A bond issue with tied in technical assistance and financial incentives for local governments to finance air pollution and GHG emission reducing urban infrastructure in emerging market cities

Endorsed 2019

A pay-per-service model to decrease energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions from cooling systems in cities around the world, by making more efficient cooling technologies more accessible to customers

Endorsed 2018

An electric bus battery financing mechanism to provide long-term debt financing to the electric transit sector in India, and reduce the ownership cost of electric buses to compete with diesel buses

Endorsed 2018

A facility to deploy more electric auto-rickshaws in Indian cities and provide better livelihoods for auto-rickshaw drivers, through a model that provides up to 100% debt financing at competitive rates, and opportunities for driver ownership

Endorsed 2018

A vehicle to accelerate mass adoption of residential rooftop solar to power 200 million households in India, through standardized product offering, easy financing and efficient execution at scale

Endorsed 2018

A vehicle to accelerate investment in clean transit by lowering the upfront cost of electric buses, allowing a utility to capitalize the on-board battery and charging station for bus owners and recover its costs with a predictable monthly charge

Endorsed 2018

A vehicle to increase clean energy access through mini-grids in Sub-Saharan Africa, by addressing demand and revenue risk through a risk pooling guarantee

Endorsed 2018

A mechanism to scale up sustainable forestry in Africa through which investors buy portfolios of trees that have been planted by smallholders on degraded land, and recoup their investment once the trees are harvested and sold

Endorsed 2018

A vehicle to enable distributed solar energy for low-income tenants in Brazil who cannot make the investments or don’t have access to credit, by providing a robust legal and financial structure to make it an attractive and low-risk investment option

Endorsed 2018

A fund to increase forest restoration in the Amazon by investing and providing technical assistance to restore degraded lands in smallholders’ farms with agroforestry systems and, at the same time, developing and facilitating sales of their products

Endorsed 2018

A vehicle to promote the responsible production of commodities, particularly soy, in the Brazilian Cerrado biome, through incentives to plant in already cleared and degraded lands

Endorsed 2016 - 2017

A solar-specific investment trust to mobilize capital to the rooftop solar sector in India

Endorsed 2016 - 2017

A class of bonds to drive impact investment to sustainable energy in India by offering debt exposure, sufficient returns, and standardized impact measures

Endorsed 2016 - 2017

A business model to provide resources and technical assistance to intensify and increase cattle production in Brazil, while also restoring degraded pastures and forests, and decreasing deforestation

Endorsed 2016 - 2017

A fund that blends commercial and catalytic finance to invest growth equity in companies to accelerate the diffusion of climate intelligence products and resilience building solutions

Endorsed 2016 - 2017

A mechanism for restoration and conservation of cloud forests in Latin America, which can improve the productivity of hydroelectric plants

Endorsed 2016 - 2017

An instrument to package and securitize the cashflows of renewable energy projects and sell shares in local capital markets, providing long-term finance for projects in Brazil

Endorsed 2016 - 2017

An instrument to finance distributed renewable energy systems in agricultural and transport cooperatives, which can help Brazil increase its share of renewables in its power supply and mitigate its carbon emissions

Endorsed 2016 - 2017

An innovative options mechanism to dramatically reduce risk and drive large amounts of private institutional investment into early-stage renewable energy development in emerging markets

Endorsed 2016 - 2017

A platform to drive needed private capital to sustainable urbanization projects in India by connecting investors and municipalities with a pipeline of investment opportunities

Fire Winner 2016 - 2017

A new asset facility to back a global fleet of moveable, megawatt-scale solar farms and aims to deploy 10 MW of solar power in the first year

Fire Winner 2016 - 2017

A lease financing model to lower the up-front costs of Proterra’s award winning electric buses, making them price-competitive with fossil fuel-powered buses from day one

Endorsed 2015 - 2016

A facility to drive capital at a lower cost for financing rooftop solar projects in India, by providing long term financing through securitization

Endorsed 2015 - 2016

A hedging facility to facilitate large-scale foreign investment into renewable energy in India by providing a cheaper currency hedging solution

Endorsed 2015 - 2016

A peer to peer lending platform to help SMEs operating in renewable energy and energy efficiency in India raise debt finance

Endorsed 2015 - 2016

The Water Financing Facility mobilizes domestic investment into climate compatible water sector projects through the local bond market.

Endorsed 2015 - 2016

A platform to bring together the tools, actors, and finance necessary to help lenders incorporate climate risk in their loan portfolios while incentivizing the adoption of climate-smart farming methods by smallholders.

Endorsed 2015 - 2016

A platform to provide open access to data and open source modeling tools that enable risk assessments as well as the transparent evaluation of economic and financial losses associated with extreme climate-related events.

Endorsed 2015 - 2016

A private equity fund that relies on donor-backed equity capital, technical assistance, and risk mitigation instruments to crowd in private investment in energy efficiency.

Fire Winner 2015 - 2016

An initiative to standardize the way energy efficiency projects are brought to market, increasing confidence in predicted returns and scaling up investments globally

Fire Winner 2015 - 2016

An initiative to enable better reporting and securitization of PayGo Solar, the leading business model for distributed solar energy systems

Fire Winner 2015 - 2016

An initiative to deliver strong returns to investors while catalyzing significant new demand to drive green homes market growth in Sub-Saharan Africa

Endorsed 2014 - 2015

An instrument to insure the financial performance of energy efficiency savings projects in Mexico and other countries

Endorsed 2014 - 2015

An instrument to provide tools to address currency and interest rate risk for climate relevant projects in developing countries

Endorsed 2014 - 2015

A facility to provide farmers with know-how and finance for climate-resilient investments, by enabling development banks to partner with agribusiness corporations who empower farmers within their supply chains

Endorsed 2014 - 2015

A financing facility for early-stage development, construction financing, and refinancing to fast-track renewable energy projects in developing countries

Fire Winner 2015 - 2016

An innovative renewable energy service company, building and operating a diversified portfolio of hybrid energy plants in remote areas in developing countries