Tuesday, 12 March, 2019 - 13:45

The Global Innovation Lab for Climate Finance, an investor-led initiative that identifies, develops, and launches promising solutions to drive critical investment to action on climate change in developing countries, has selected its top six ideas for 2019.

The new ideas target four areas where accelerated investment for climate adaptation and mitigation is urgent: sustainable cities, energy access, blue carbon in coastal & marine ecosystems, and sustainable agriculture. Lab Members, who include over 60 institutions in government, development finance, philanthropy, and the private sector, chose the six new ideas out of a highly competitive shortlist of 12 finalists, narrowed from a record high number of 250 proposals submitted by leading development finance institutions, global NGOs, entrepreneurs, and others.

Among the top six ideas selected for 2019, the “West African Initiative for Climate Smart Agriculture”, proposed by the ECOWAS Commission, is an initiative being part of the ECOWAS Agriculture Policy (ECOWAP), to promote climate smart agriculture and resilient supply chains across 15 countries in West Africa. This initiative will help ensure climate-friendly food security in West Africa, through provision of grants for technical assistance, and subsidized-rate loans or guarantees for the smallholder farmers organisations and the agricultural private sector. It is a blended finance mechanism that will be implemented through a window to be included into the ECOWAS Regional Fund for Agriculture and Food (ECOWADF), with a specific focus on climate-smart agriculture (https://www.climatefinancelab.org/project/africa-climate-smart-agriculture/).

During the next step of the process (seven months, march-september 2019), the selected ideas will get support for their development, through analysis, stress-testing, and guidance from experts and investors.

Alain Sy Traoré, Director Agriculture & Rural Development of the ECOWAS Commission, and proponent of the Initiative, says “Working with the Lab will help us to build catalytic financial support for climate-smart agriculture in West Africa, especially by bringing together the relevant public and private actors.”