While political will to tackle climate change is still weak, the will of creative and energetic entrepreneurs working in the field of climate innovation is on the increase. WWF is encouraging small and medium enterprises (SMEs) that are developing innovative technologies and processes which can contribute to fighting climate change.
WWF’s Climate Solvers programme recognizes climate innovations in key countries. While Sweden has been honoring such companies for the past five years, it has now been expanded to other countries as well. In India WWF has announced its first selection of Climate Solver entrepreneurs under the Climate Solver Award 2012. The selection underscores both the benefit and opportunity for businesses to contribute to mitigate Greenhouse Gas and enhance energy access.
Over 400 million people in India, which is nearly half of those living in India’s rural areas, still have no access to electricity. Energy access is key for sustainable economic development. The challenge is to drive a low carbon economy while meeting the aspirations of equitable development. With increasing energy demand, erratic energy supply and failure of traditional delivery mechanisms, access to clean and quality energy remains an issue. Many villages in India are not electrified or only partially electrified. This has resulted in stunted socio-economic growth in these villages which largely depend on kerosene for lighting and wood or animal dung for cooking in an ill maintained environment that makes them susceptible to respiratory diseases. At the same time, India is among the top 5 global emitters of carbon dioxide along with China, the United States, the European Union and the Russian Federation.
Climate Solver is a climate innovations platform developed by WWF to strengthen the development and widespread use of low carbon technologies, which radically or transformatively reduce carbon dioxide emissions or provide enhanced energy access to the poor. The platform will stimulate the diffusion of innovative low carbon technologies and also generate awareness about them along with the overall value of innovation as an immediate and practical solution to climate change.
Speaking at the event, Mr Ravi Singh, Secretary General & CEO, WWF India said, “With a platform like Climate Solver, we are hoping to provide simple and innovative solutions to counter the effects of climate change which can be scaled up over time”.
Innovation is typically a new way of doing something while increasing the value for a customer. WWF believes that this customer value must include radically reduced carbon emissions, energy access and compatibility with a transition to a renewable energy future as described in WWF’s Energy Report. Climate innovations are often primarily associated with mitigation activities but infrastructure that enables more renewables and energy access solutions are also considered climate innovation, as are innovative financial services that can scale these to markets faster.
Climate innovation is also about business opportunities and poverty alleviation. It’s about avoiding wasteful consumption and job generation that make emissions in our society shrink. The transition from a high-fossil-fuel economy to a clean, renewable energy economy requires new solutions, products, systems and services which will radically reduce climate impact. Such climate innovations are numerous, proven and available. The question is how to employ them at speed and scale, globally.
Innovations that have a good business case can instill confidence for policy makers to increase ambition so that these innovations can grow and create more jobs. Investors, business and policy makers all need to play proactive roles for major commercialization of climate positive solutions carried by entrepreneurs.
Mr. Singh added that, “Climate Solver looks to promote innovative low carbon technologies. In the first year itself, WWF-India received a number entries from small and medium enterprises working across a range of climate change innovations, each of which was unique, intuitive, replicable and economically viable in its own way.”
Climate Solver 2012 Awardees:
1. Energy Access: Smart Microgrid developed by Gram Power (India) Pvt. Ltd.
2. Energy Access: Paribesh Chula developed by Enfragy Solutions India Pvt. Ltd.
3. GHG Reduction: Air to Air Heat Exchanger for Cooling developed by Toro Cooling Systems Pvt. Ltd.
4. GHG Reduction: Geothermal Building Cooling Systems developed by Green India Building Systems and Services Pvt. Ltd. (GIBSS)
For further queries, please contact:
Neha Simlai, Manager – Communications, Sustainable Business, WWF-India
Started in year 2010, ‘Climate Himalaya’ initiative has been working on Mountains and Climate linked issues in the Himalayan region of South Asia. In the last five years this knowledge sharing portal has become one of the important references for the governments, research institutions, civil society groups and international agencies, those have work and interest in the Himalayas. The Climate Himalaya team innovates on knowledge sharing, capacity building and climatic adaptation aspects in its focus countries like Bhutan, India, Nepal and Pakistan. Climate Himalaya’s thematic areas of work are mountain ecosystem, water, forest and livelihood. Read>>