The road to 1.5C – Takeaway of 2022

When will we phase out fossil fuels? When will global emissions reach their peak? Who is going to finance the loss and damage fund? These are some of the pressing questions that remain after the most recent edition of the UN Global Climate Summit (aka. COP27)

In its Emissions Gap Report 2022, the UN states that “no credible pathway to 1.5C is in place”. UN secretary general stated: “Emissions remain at dangerous and record highs and are still rising. We must close the emissions gap before climate catastrophe closes in on all of us.” EIT Climate-KIC, and therefore ClimateLaunchpad, have joined a group of organisations re-committing to this target of finding and forging this credible pathway to 1.5C.

It is crucial to get and keep the entire world on the same page to drive progress towards climate change mitigation and adaption. The key is a systems-wide approach, committing  and inspiring governments and other players to support business innovation and start-ups in tackling the climate crisis.

Real change cannot wait

“It is a tall, and some would say impossible, order to reform the global economy and almost halve greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, but we must try,” says Inger Andersen, executive director of the UN Environment Programme. “Every fraction of a matters: to vulnerable communities, to ecosystems. And to every one of us.” She also stated that action leads to cleaner air, green jobs and access to electricity for millions.

We fully agree with Andersen; real change cannot wait and needs to come from clean economies and businesses. They need to lead the charge and being more dynamic in nature can accelerate and outpace government action. And yes, every fraction of impact matters. That is why we need each and every green business idea across the globe to grow into successful businesses and create the impact the world needs.

We need each and every green business idea

The ClimateLaunchpad Global Top 3 are great examples of businesses that address the range of small, medium, and large-scale impact in all corners of the world.

  • Estudio MABE (Brazil) uses angico tree pods (an abundant raw material with no commercial value) to create a plant-based leather. Angico trees are also used in reforestation projects in Brazil, thereby creating value two-fold – in the trees and the pods. And the big impact – incentivising reforestation.
  • WAGA (Tanzania) transforms waste laptop batteries into battery-packs that can power a household for 15 hours. WAGA gives not only a second life to the used batteries, but also reduces emissions by 70% compared to old-fashioned generators. Impact is created and amplified with every household converted.
  • 2D Membranes (Switzerland) captures carbon at the source. The target market for their carbon capture units are factories, saving the company millions in European taxes on emissions and most importantly reducing the amount of CO2 that gets released into the environment. “A problem at scale…, tackled at scale,” says co-founder Karl Khalil.

“No credible pathway”?

To make this work, we need more sustainable finance initiatives that help bring about fundamental economic change. As of yet, most are designed to fit into existing business models instead of allocating capital where it is needed to create change.

With this in mind, let ClimateLaunchpad and the work that we do with our global partners in training climate-positive start-ups be a building block in changing the statement from “no credible pathway is in place” to “no credible pathway is in place… yet”.

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