Thematic Track: Mainstreaming Climate Finance Solutions in SMEs Including Start-ups

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Climate Finance for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) is a key component for addressing India’s climate action and sustainable development agendas. The India Hub of SEED hosted by TERI organized the Practitioners Lab for Climate Finance in 2020, targeting different challenges such as online solutions to facilitate access to climate finance for SMEs, democratizing blended finance for supporting agri-tech SMEs, mainstreaming credit assessment and appraisal for solar micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and supporting MSMEs in adopting energy efficiency.
Delivering the welcome address, Dr Ajay Mathur highlighted that climate finance is an extremely important issue in today’s scenario to solve the challenges related to climate action.
Mr Ashok Lavasa emphasized the importance of climate finance for SMEs and mentioned his involvement in negotiating the Paris Agreement as former Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change. Mainstreaming climate finance is a major target for Asian Development Bank with many initiatives in line with climate finance and its solutions.
The panel discussion threw up some insightful perspectives and suggestions. Scaling-up of the climate finance solutions in thousands of industries suggested by Mr Rainer Agster was agreed upon unanimously. As one of the solutions, Mr Santosh Singh described an online platform for climate finance creating an ecosystem to bridge the gap between demand and supply (SMEs and financial institution or investors). Ms Namita Vikas highlighted shortage of funds allocation as one of the challenges for successful roll out of climate finance solutions. To overcome this, blended finance where Development Finance Institutions (DFIs) come with guarantee and motivate private investors is important. Mr Shankar A Pande mentioned government’s and various National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development’s (NABARD) initiatives such as NAB Ventures and NAB Sanrakshan, supporting agri-based SMEs and startups to make them more climate resilient. Mr R K Mittal talked about the GAIL initiative ‘PANKH’, to promote start-ups wherein 24 start-ups have been supported in incubation and access to investment. Mr Santosh Roy Chaudhury summarized the major challenges as absence of data on SMEs, unfavourable perception related to investment in climate finance solutions due to higher payback, lack of homogenization of industries and customized funding for different sectors.

Thematic Track: Mainstreaming Climate Finance Solutions in SMEs Including Start-ups
Welcome Address: Dr Ajay Mathur, Director General, TERI
Keynote Address: Mr Ashok Lavasa, Vice President, ADB
Introduction to PLCF: Ms Kathrin Kirsch, Enterprise Support Advisor, SEED
Chair: Mr Ajay Shankar, Distinguished Fellow, TERI
Mr Rainer Agster, Director of Operations at SEED and Executive Board Member, adelphi Germany
Mr Santosh Singh, Director, Intellecap
Ms Namita Vikas, Founder and Managing Partner, auctusESG LLP
Mr Shankar A Pande, Director, Bankers Institute of Rural Development
Mr R K Mittal, CGM (Sustainability), GAIL
Mr Sandeep Roy Choudhury, Co-Founder, VNV Advisory
To know more about WSDS 2021, visit:
#WSDS2021 #Act4Earth #SustainableDevelopment
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