GEF to Contribute in IFC’s Newly Launched “Cleantech Innovation Facility”
Supporting Climate-Related Alternative Business Models in Developing Countries
Washington, October 20, 2011- The International Finance Corporation (IFC) has recently received Board approval to launch the Cleantech Innovation Facility (CTIF), a $60 million financial mechanism to support alternative business models in developing countries aiming to reduce carbon gas emissions.
The project is co-sponsored by the IFC and the IFC-GEF Earth Fund. The IFC-GEF Earth Fund is the first operational platform under the GEF Earth Fund and comprises $10 million contributed by IFC and $30 million contributed by the Global Environment Facility (GEF). Its mandate is to support, via advisory services and concessional finance, market transformation through testing or scaling up new technologies, new business models, or financial mechanisms which mitigate climate change or preserve biodiversity.
The CTIF will grants venture stage companies in emerging markets with the strategy and tools required in their efforts to provide products and services aimed at reducing carbon gas emissions.
Mohsen Khalil, global head of IFC’s Climate Business Group, expressed that “this initiative is a practical way to address a market gap within climate finance. It will support Cleantech companies originating from or moving to developing countries, which have the potential to be scaled up and make a real impact but cannot access commercial risk capital.”
The CTIF will help companies from emerging economies to create services and products dealing with recycling and waste management; water capture, treatment, supply and efficiency; smart systems; green transport; green buildings; sustainable agribusiness; and cleaner production technologies. IFC’s investment in the alternative business models will range between $3-4 million, with a maximum exposure of $10 million for companies responding to the IFC’s initiative requirements. The GEF's concessional funding will allow the IFC to take more risk and work with earlier stage, higher risk companies.
“These are the kind of innovations needed to put emerging markets on a low-carbon growth path- and have the potential to directly increase access to energy and water for the under-served,” said Nikun Jinsi, head of the IFC’s Cleantech investment team.
The CTIF will also encourage the research and establishment of alternative business models that will put forward innovative expertise and entrepreneurship in regions in need of viable and environmentally-friendly businesses.
“The facility structure itself is innovative as it illustrates another mechanism to leverage concessional funds to mobilize private capital for climate investments at a time when public funds are scarce and capital needs are high,” said Khalil.