COP28 Reinforces Value of Climate Businesses


“Empowering today's start-ups is paving the way for tomorrow's climate titans. P4G is here to guide them through challenges, invest in their growth, and shape them into the leaders of a sustainable future.” P4G Executive Director Robyn McGuckin kicked off P4G’s participation at COP with this line that guided our discussions throughout the climate conference.  

On December 1, P4G’s Kenya National Platform kicked off our activities at COP by hosting an event on Transforming Economies through Green Business Models and Climate Entrepreneurship. The session featured a panel discussion with key P4G network stakeholders. Faith Ngige, Climate Business Information Network Coordinator and P4G focal point at the Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA) underscored the significance of P4G National Platforms to support the localization of climate solutions aligned with national priorities. Along with Augustine Kenduiwo, Deputy Director Climate Change Mitigation and P4G focal point at the Ministry of Environment, Climate Change and Forestry, they emphasized how the Kenya National Platform has worked with partnerships to drive policy and regulatory reforms to catalyze green market development.

Sebastian Groh, Managing Director of SOLShare, brought the perspective of a P4G partnership, noting the value of P4G’s funding to finance green innovations that are often left out of mainstream financial systems because of the high risk involved with start-ups. Tying in the just transition element of climate solutions, Shameela Soobramoney, CEO of the National Business Initiative in South Africa, shared the need to consider distributive justice and ensure that climate solutions facilitate good jobs for youth.

On December 2, P4G focused on how to channel climate finance to entrepreneurs at an event hosted by State of Green and the government of Denmark. Ole Thonke, Undersecretary for Development Policy of the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs opened the event by celebrating the progress P4G has made in creating jobs and reducing emissions through valuable SME solutions.  

During the panel session moderated by Melanie Robinson, Global Climate Director at World Resources Institute (WRI), Chris Kiptoo, Principal Secretary of the Kenyan National Treasury and Planning noted that his country has introduced green fiscal incentives but still faces a gap in resources and capacity, making P4G's support to mobilize private sector investment in Kenya essential. Khalid Duri from African Bamboo highlighted his experience as a P4G partnership and how private sector engagement with SMEs can help understand and manage risks. Panelists also included Lilian Macharia, Director for Division of Portfolio Management for the Green Climate Fund and Josien Sluijs, Managing Director of Aqua for All.

To close the event, Dr. Getahun Garedew, Director General, Ethiopian Environmental Protection Authority commended P4G’s role in contributing to the discussion on private sector climate finance in Ethiopia. Shameela Soobramoney underscored the opportunity for P4G’s collaborative model of bringing together the public and private sectors to help lay the foundation of successful SMEs. This leadership in an area that is still relatively new will also harness the innovative potential of Africa’s youth for climate development.

Our final event, which focused on Successful Policy Frameworks for Climate Businesses and was hosted by the Republic of Korea, brought together policymakers and entrepreneurs to discuss lessons learned and avenues for future collaboration. Hyoeun Jenny Kim, Deputy Minister and Ambassador for Climate Change at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Republic of Korea, opened the event by sharing how P4G embodies the model that aligns with what the Republic of Korea aims to achieve for climate action: driving environmental initiatives through youth and entrepreneurs in developing countries, alongside the private sector.

Ani Dasgupta, President and CEO of WRI moderated the panel discussion about fostering innovation, partnerships and financing for a nature-positive economy that benefits people. Ana Hajduka, CEO of Africa GreenCo, shared how GreenCo’s evolution from a 2018 and 2019 P4G partnership enabled it to become the first and only private sector buyer of electricity in the southern African market. She noted the importance of catalytic capital to propose necessary policies and push for changes to support governments, as these policies won’t materialize on their own. GreenCo also announced at a separate event at COP28 that it signed its first power purchase agreement (PPA) with Ilute Solar. This groundbreaking 25 MW Solar PV project will leverage the competitive markets of the Southern African Power Pool (SAPP) to secure project financing. It was made possible by the open access regime implemented through legislative amendments in 2019 and will open up new avenues for financing renewable energy projects in Africa.

Alif Sakti, Co-founder of Siklus, a 2020 and 2021 P4G partnership, reinforced the need to be proactive and initiate conversations around policy changes. Bringing in the government perspective, Dr. Vivi Yulaswati, Deputy Minister of Maritime Affairs and Natural Resources at Indonesia’s Ministry of National Development Planning, noted the valuable role of the private sector and entrepreneurs in influencing the policy changes needed for success.

René van Hell, Director and Ambassador for Sustainable Development, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands closed the event by sharing his takeaways from the session, reflecting that working in this interplay between the public and private sector is the right approach for making sure there are policies that enable SMEs and entrepreneurs to thrive.

P4G’s Executive Director Robyn McGuckin also spoke at events on reducing plastic pollution in Indonesia, enabling private sector climate investment in Ethiopia, transforming the African agricultural sector, and accelerating the electric mobility transition. To get more updates on P4G, subscribe to our newsletter