Grassroots to global

How local solutions fix climate change

Climate change is caused locally and cumulates into a global problem. For a large part the answers can be found locally and cumulate into global impact. That is why we support early-stage entrepreneurs across the globe and why we partner up with local initiatives to run our competition.

Global problem, local differences

One of the reasons we support local approaches is that the effects of climate change differ per region or country. Global warming causes weather patterns affecting local agriculture, living conditions and economic development. In some areas extreme events like floods and tropical storms become more frequent, where other areas experience droughts and heat waves.

The local conditions often dictate what the best climate positive solutions are. Besides that, the success of a cleantech idea is often also determined by the extent to which it aligns with local political processes and governance.

“If you are serious about the relationship between sustainability and poverty, you have to take a grassroots perspective. This is why Irish Aid is most interested in micro solutions. The best way to create sustainable wealth and development is from the ground up, by fostering innovation among subject matter experts.” – Michelle Winthrop, Director of Policy at Irish Aid – a part of Ireland’s Department of Foreign Affairs

The domino effect

Thinking and acting at a local level helps communities and countries battle climate change and build resilience to its impacts. Supporting the expansion of green business ecosystems at national levels creates a grassroots domino effect. What happens in one region affects what happens in another region.

A multitude of local greentech solutions leads to positive climate impact on a global scale by creating a ripple effect of greener economies around the world.

Examples of the impact of local solutions by ClimateLaunchpad start-ups

Most of our alumni are working on local solutions with the potential to create global impact. Some examples:

  • Cassetex (2020 participant) is targeting the Bangladeshi 3-wheeler market which is specific to that region.
  • Danish start-up Blue Lobster (2019 participant) enables large-scale fishing to go local by connecting local sustainable fishermen to local restaurants.
  • Nepalese team E-Waste from Doko Recylers (2019 participant) works to “formalize the present deregulated informal e-waste handling system in Nepal as a small step towards saving environment”.
  • Bioalkanol Gel (2017 participant) tackles the petroleum-based biomass fuel consumption in Kenya which accounts for more than 90% of primary energy supply by creating a biofuel alternative.

Why we need multilateral and global agreement 

Local and regional commitment to cut emissions will stimulate innovation in technologies. It will also lead to lower costs for switching to low-carbon economies. Why we do also need multilateral agreements is to build and strengthen spillovers across countries and continents.

We need a well-designed global funding mechanism to achieve and foster innovation and international technology transfer. Over time that will result in a cumulative process of emissions reductions – across the globe.

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