On November  30, 2015 the Governments of Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Denmark, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Norway, Republic of Korea, Saudi Arabia, Sweden, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the United Arab Emirates, and the United States of America have come together to launch Mission Innovation to reinvigorate and accelerate public and private global clean energy innovation with the objective to make clean energy widely affordable.  Additional countries will be encouraged to join in the future. Each participating country will seek to double its governmental and/or state-directed clean energy research and development investment over five years. New investments would be focused on transformational clean energy technology innovations that can be scalable to varying economic and energy market conditions that exist in participating countries and in the broader world. Research and development projects would be designed and managed to attract private investors willing to advance commercialization.

Participating countries especially commend the contribution being made by a group of investors through the Breakthrough Energy Coalition. These investors from 10 countries and representing leadership from many key economic sectors are prepared to drive innovation from the laboratory to the market through the investment of patient capital at unprecedented levels into early-stage technology development into participating countries. This commitment, as stated in the Coalition’s principles, will be focused on investment opportunities sourced from the countries participating in Mission Innovation.  Participating countries also look forward to working with additional private sector partners who are willing to share our common goal of increasing investment for clean energy innovation.

On the same day Germany, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland announced that they will put $500 million into creating new incentives for large-scale greenhouse gas emissions cuts in developing countries. They’ll be working alongside the World Bank, which will provide $2 billion worth of investment and policy-related lending. The so-called Transformative Carbon Asset Facility will help poorer countries create new classes of carbon assets and measure and pay for emissions reductions from projects in renewables, transportation, energy efficiency and solid waste management, among other types. The initiatives are expected to kick off in 2016, when about $250 million will be provided.

And more where that came from: Eleven countries also pledged today to put $248 million into the Global Environment Facility, to help the most vulnerable countries adapt to the effects of climate change, including droughts, violent storms, and rising sea levels. The donors are Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Sweden, Switzerland, the U.K. and the U.S. The fund has provided $1.3 billion in grants and $7 billion from other sources since 2001 for least developed and small island countries.

And for tropical forests: Germany, Norway and the U.K. also committed nearly $300 million to protect Colombia’s rainforests, mainly in payments to reduce deforestation.

Canada commits cash: Canada’s new and more climate-friendly government under Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, also decided to put money on the table before the talks start, committing $2.5 billion to climate finance over five years. While Stephane Dion, the country’s foreign minister, boasted the amount was more than twice what Canada had contributed in the past, the pledge is less than that of developed nations like the U.K., which has promised £5.8-billion pounds ($10-billion) over five years.

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(Photo: courtesy Mission Innovation)