The Global Innovation Lab for Climate Finance


Organizational profile: 
The Global Innovation Lab for Climate Finance is a public-private partnership that brings together and catalyzes broader government and private sector efforts to scale up climate finance. The Lab identifies, develops, and launches innovative financial instruments that can drive billions in private investment to action on climate change and sustainable development. The Lab won the 2021 UN Global Climate Action Awards and is funded by the German, Swedish, and UK governments.

The Lab network accelerates well-designed financial instruments that can unlock billions for energy efficiency, renewable energy, sustainable transport, climate-smart agriculture, and curbing deforestation, while also reducing private investors’ risks and improving their financial returns. These instruments provide concrete solutions to financing challenges faced in real projects and can build new markets, attract new investors, and help to unlock billions of dollars in new climate-friendly investments in developing countries. Flagship projects include GROVE: Forestry Smart Ledger (FSL) and Smallholder Forestry Vehicle.

Financing Instrument: Loans

Project scale: The 55 Lab-developed ideas have mobilized USD 3 billion in climate investments by Dec 2021. The USD 3 billion includes USD 416 million in investments from Lab members and USD 2.7 billion catalyzed from other investors. Private sources account for over USD 850 million.

Recipient countries regions/country groups: Global

Recipient categories: Businesses

Eligibility Criteria: Projects should be focused on developing countries. Climate finance entrepreneurs from all over the world can apply for the Global Innovation Lab for Climate Finance.  The Lab looks for innovative finance solutions that can unlock investment to tackle some of the most challenging climate and sustainable development challenges and investment opportunities for a net-zero economy. Successful ideas are selected by Lab Members and other experts based on the following criteria:  

  • Actionable - Identifies (1) the type of entity(ies) that could implement it, (2) the pathway towards implementation, including the timeframe, activities, and key milestones, and (3) possible challenges to implementation and related management strategies.
  • Innovative - Demonstrates the ability to address, directly or indirectly, barriers to private climate finance that (1) have not yet been addressed or (2) that will be addressed more effectively compared to other instruments in the market.
  • Catalytic - Demonstrates potential to (1) mobilize private climate capital within a sizeable market, (2) be scaled up or replicated in other contexts and, (3) achieve socioeconomic, development, and environmental impacts.
  • Financially Sustainable - Identifies (1) a strategy to phase out public financial support, thereby achieving market viability and (2) possible challenges to achieving its intended objectives and related management strategies.

Application guidelines:

  1. Call for Ideas: Open call for innovative sustainable investment solutions. Each year’s call for ideas occurs between October and December.
  2. Selection: Lab Members select the most promising ideas.
  3. Development: Selected ideas benefit from analysis, stress-testing, and guidance from experts and investors. 
  4. Endorsement & Launch: Lab Members vote to launch the ideas for piloting, based on their innovation, actionability, financial sustainability, and catalytic potential.
  5. Implementation: The ideas move into action, fundraising to launch pilots, with continued support from the Lab network. Ideas submitted are assessed against the Lab criteria as well as the workstream and region priorities.
Publication Date
Saturday, 26 March 2022
Applicable location
Forest landscape restoration
Forest conservation and management
Private sector and industry
Climate change
Financing opportunities