Innovate4Climate successfully links carbon markets and climate finance

I4C verknüpft erfolgreich Klimafinanzierung und Kohlenstoffmärkte

German institutions and businesses optimistic following Innovate4Climate in Frankfurt/Main


Currently, seventy jurisdictions worldwide are taking concrete action on carbon pricing. This was announced by the World Bank at the start of Innovate4Climate 2018, which took place between 22 – 24 May in Frankfurt (Main). The number of initiatives has tripled over the past ten years, said the World Bank in its annual report "State and Trends of Carbon Pricing 2018" published at the start of the largest international conference on carbon markets and climate finance.

Flasbarth: Financing streams are essential in achieving the Paris climate goals

Jochen Flasbarth opened this year's Innovate4Climate conference with an encouraging observation: implementation of the Paris Agreement is progressing well and decarbonisation of the economy is already underway (see the video for the full speech). According to Flasbarth, international financing flows are essential in achieving the Paris climate goals. Those flows must be well managed and are reliant both on strong incentives and the provision of a clear framework. This is where Innovate4Climate could serve as a central forum for in-depth dialogue and goal-oriented exchange, Flasbarth said.

In his opening speech at Innovate4Climate 2018, Norbert Barthle, Parliamentary State Secretary to the Federal Minister for Development, stated that industrialised countries have a special responsibility to implement the Paris climate goals: "Developing countries have the chance to leapfrog the age of fossil fuels. As the main cause of climate change, we industrialised countries have a responsibility to support developing countries on this path. Germany is already one of the world's largest climate financiers.” (See video for full speech).

Innovate4Climate is a World Bank initiative and the 2018 edition was jointly hosted by the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU) and the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) at the Kap Europa Congress Centre in the heart of Germany’s financial district, Frankfurt am Main.

Spotlight on the private sector: A new target group for special events

"Ongoing stakeholder dialogue has proven to be the key to the success in climate activities in recent years," says Tobias Hunzai of Climate Focus. Innovate4Climate increasingly fulfils its "hinge function" between official climate negotiation events and provides space for purposeful but informal exchange. The space provided this year was particularly big: with 56 workshops and 46 other events, including the German Pavilion, Innovate4Climate offered more than ever before.

The round of talks with exhibitors and event organisers at the German Pavilion was also marked by private sector actors in 2018. New at this year’s Innovate4Climate event were the Agency for Economy & Development (AWE), Continental, DEG Invest, Finance in Motion, Kommunalkredit Public Consulting, the Frankfurt School-UNEP Collaborating Centre for Climate & Sustainable Energy Finance, KfW Development Bank and Navigant company Ecofys.

"At Innovate4Climate, at events large and small, we can forge the necessary links between the needs of policymakers, business and finance in a meaningful way," said Matthias Böhning from DEG Invest, summing up. Joined by experts from the Agency for Economy & Development (AWE) and tyre manufacturer Continental, he presented a successful project in which collaboration between development financers, consulting agencies and businesses had brought sustainable changes to Continental’s Mexican supply chain.

German institutions bring pioneering topics to Innovate4Climate event

At the ten workshops hosted by BMU and BMZ, focus was placed on how the private sector can be better integrated into climate finance and climate action. What kind of business model do companies need to adopt in adapting to climate change? How can the Paris Agreement foster private sector involvement? What role does insurance play in financing climate action? And what networks need to be in place to support green bond markets? The experts discussed these and other issues along with key topics being addressed in international climate negotiations, among them the importance of partnerships in raising ambition and the impact of results-based NDCs.

In addition to the workshops it hosts, the German Pavilion has over the past few years become a valued network hub where exhibitors are keen to present and discuss innovations. At Innovate4Climate 2018, talks at the German Pavilion took in issues addressed at the current climate negotiations (including Article 6) as well as a number of practical examples such as DeveloPP, Climate Finance Readiness, and GETFiT Uganda.

Sustainable conference management a special focus

Another accent set by the Innovate4Climate conference comes from the fact that it is a sustainable, carbon-neutral event. With its ambitious "Towards Zero Impact" sustainability initiative, the World Bank was able to clearly demonstrate that conferences are environmentally sound events. Among other things, the initiative aims to define and implement concrete mitigation measures to reduce the environmental impact of mobility, energy, catering, waste, water management, communications and suppliers, and to calculate and offset all unavoidable greenhouse gas emissions.

Exhibitors looking forward to next Innovate4Climate

"Carbon market experts and climate finance specialists are increasingly joining forces thanks to Innovate4Climate," says Katja Eisbrenner of Navigant-owned Ecofys. "If market mechanisms for climate action and climate financing opportunities are better integrated in the future, the international community has a good chance of coming much closer to its climate commitments and goals. Innovate4Climate is an important platform in this regard,” said Eisbrenner. “The more it attracts representatives from banks and the finance world, the more effective it will be."

Frank Wolke from the German Emissions Trading Authority at the Federal Environment Agency (DEHSt) agreed: "In 2018, the German Pavilion has again demonstrated tremendous pull, acting as a meeting place for the German commitment. It’s exactly what an event like Innovate4Climate needs."

The outlook for the future is bright. Exhibitors at the German Pavilion were unanimous in their view that Innovate4Climate is attracting more and more experts from the carbon market and climate finance worlds, and has become an attractive venue for representatives from the financial and private sectors. By building once again on the efforts and processes in place, Innovate4climate 2019 is on track for continued success.

"Innovate4Climate successfully links carbon markets and climate finance" has been published online in July 2018. Republished with kind permission by