Fire Awards for
Sustainable Finance


The Fire Awards for Sustainable Finance accelerate powerful, early-stage pilots and businesses that can unlock finance for clean energy and green growth.

Whereas the Global Lab supports initiatives that are in concept testing phase, the Fire Awards support initiatives that are already “on fire,” having validated their concept through stress-testing, market research, or a pilot project.

Presented each year at the BNEF Future of Energy Summit in New York City, Fire Awards winners receive business support to demonstrate viability, reach profitability, and/or scale impact.

The Challenge

Investment in clean energy, energy efficiency, and other activities to mitigate and adapt to climate change totaled USD 391 billion in 2014 (CPI, 2015). However, current spending on clean energy and green growth is insufficient to limit climate change to 2 degrees Celsius, with up to USD 16.5 trillion is needed to meet this goal between now and 2030. This requires a sea change in our economic system – from a high-carbon economy, to a low-carbon, climate-resilient economy.

The Vision

The Fire Awards seek to support and build momentum for early-stage pilots and businesses that are already showing promise through market testing or existing pilots, and need help demonstrating viability, reaching profitability, and/or scaling impact. In particular, The Fire Awards provide profile-raising and business support to initiatives that demonstrate potential to spur commercial investment and transformation in clean energy and green growth.


The Fire Awards run in annual cycles.

If an initiative is selected by the Fire Advisory Board and Lab Members, the Champion and team for that initiative will:

  • Work with Climate Policy Initiative analysts, communications specialists, and industry experts to develop and practice a 3-minute pitch for the BNEF Future of Energy Summit
  • Deliver their pitch to hundreds of investors and leaders who attend the Summit

If an initiative is voted a Fire winner at the BNEF Future of Energy Summit, the team for that initiative will receive a set number of working days of support from Climate Policy Initiative and a Working Group of experts over the course of 3-4 months. The primary aim of this support is to assist Fire winners in reaching near-term milestones.  Activities supported depend largely on the needs of the Fire Winner, but could include:

  • Market research and analysis
  • Assessment of financing structures
  • Investor landscaping
  • Pitch deck creation or refinement
  • Stakeholder outreach strategy

Expert support through Working Groups is generously provided on a volunteer basis from the Lab’s network of experts. To get involved, sign up here.

CPI, the Fire Awards Secretariat, is still in the process of confirming funding for a full 2017-2018 cycle of the Fire Awards. Therefore, prospective applicants should note there is a small chance the  Fire Awards will not be able to move forward with selection of finalists to present at the 2018 BNEF Future of Energy Summit. We still encourage prospective applicants to make a submission to ensure consideration of their idea should we be able to confirm funding for a full cycle of the Fire Awards in early 2018.