What is climate finance?
It’s an important question recently explored by Redsand Venture’s Nicole Anderson and CLIMA‘s Gede Witsen in an Instagram Live interview hosted by the IE Global Transformation Club‘s Raquel Hazeu González and Soco Vega.
The concept of climate finance is defined by the UN as local, national or transnational financing – drawn from public, private and alternative sources of financing – that aims to support the mitigation and adaptation of any actions that will help address climate change.
The 2015 Paris Agreement was drawn up to urge developing countries to respond to the needs of the planet and limit global warming to below 2, preferably to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
Here, we find out more about how the work of both Redsand Ventures and CLIMA, the first ever Climate Youth Fund, supports these aims around climate change. You can also support the CLIMA crowdfunding campaign here.
What is Redsand Ventures all about?
Nicole Anderson (NA): The core of our business focuses on supporting innovation in financial services. We have significantly evolved our model over the years, from working as advisors and consultants to launching our own venture studio where we incubate start-ups, then accelerate their transition to market. I cut my teeth as an entrepreneur, and now we’ve pivoted again to look at investing in ventures and helping build them.
When you think about the future we all face, it’s daunting – we have a planet under immense stress with natural resources such as water, air and soil all becoming scarce.
Finance and money make up the connecting tissue with the power to make postive change. They are important drivers in moving our planet towards a more sustainable future.
As partners to CLIMA and parent company 25onehundred, these initiatives are very important components within our aims. CLIMA is focused on youth as custodians of the future. We are hoping to stimulate innovation through this and ensure CLIMA is an investment fund capable of acting as a huge catalyst for helping climate protection.
What is CLIMA?
Gede Witsen (GW): CLIMA is managed by 25onehundred and our aim is to invest in innovation by working as a social impact company. CLIMA is part of our ambitions to tackle the 10 largest problems we see in the world today such as climate change, poverty, urban mobility and more.
We have a vision of the fund as a seed in growing a new impact economy. We’re also trying to democratize the process of creating CLIMA – it is a youth investment fund and is open to the public through a crowdfunding campaign. After the campaign is complete, then we will start building the fund, working with experts like Nicole and the rest of the Redsand Ventures team. We want to close the gap between climate finance and youth driven enterprise and tech innovation.
Why is climate finance so important to tackling climate change?
NA: The world moves through the flows of capital and over the last 150 years, it has been based around industrialisation. It’s about producing goods and services for a growing population and growing consumerism.
We’ve all become trapped in this world of convenience but there are consequences to how materials are drawn out of the planet, produced and delivered. The ongoing effect of this on the environment was not considered until the Kyoto Protocol of 1997 which recognised how our resources are finite but appetite for them is escalating.
Everything starts with the financial services industry. As long as money flows into operations such as fossil fuels or food production using toxic chemicals which cause damage to the planet and our health, then the environment will continue to be damaged.
Finance is a massive catalyst for change – it can incentivize and penalise industry. We as consumers have a huge responsibility as our choices determine where this money goes. Regulation is also important in changing behaviours.
So if you look at where money flows from, how consumers judge their choices and the laws that are made – these are three things that need to work in harmony to protect our planet’s resources.
How can consumers make the right choices?
NA: We need to ask the tough questions of where money is flowing to. Every time you deposit money in a bank, you should ask where these savings are going. When you buy something, you need to question how a product is manufactured. It has to come from us to hold businesses and banks accountable.
Many of us are now think we would rather put our money into a business who we know, understand their ethics and how they operate. This is what ESG is trying to achieve by ensuring the processes surrounding an investment are transparent.
At the same time, we need to be careful as sustainability is now a branding theme. We talk about 50 shades of green as everyone has their own interpretation of sustainability. Businesses claim they are acting in the best interests of the planet but how green is their behaviour? We need to ensure that companies are doing right by their staff, customers and the environment.
GW: We need to think more holistically and embrace a new impact economy. This means thinking more about resources and the environmental impact of using them. We need to change our mindset and think like this in business, government and as consumers – it is the only way to tackle climate change.
How is CLIMA trying to close this gap and bring about this holistic mindset that we’re talking about?
GE: CLIMA tries to bring in impact investment and holistic environment by getting support from the private sector. It is in this world that innovation takes place and at pace.
We think that the European Union’s goal of achieving carbon neutrality by 2050 is too far away so we want to create impact now. Our aim is to support 25 enteprises through the fund and bring together young innovation with private capital. Youth has the most to gain through protecting planet and our fund wants to support this next generation in making the world a better place.
Watch CLIMA’s crowdfunding campaign video and find out how you can support the initiative.