Europe’s annual climate innovation summit to be held in emerging green finance centre Dublin

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Europe’s annual climate innovation summit to be held in emerging green finance centre Dublin

The 2018 Climate Innovation Summit, Europe’s leading event on climate innovation, will be held in the emerging green business hub of Dublin this November with a focus on the finance needed to accelerate climate action. 

From 6 to 7 November, 600 decision makers from across Ireland and Europe will convene to discuss innovative finance solutions that will accelerate the decarbonisation of transport, buildings, and food production.

Organised by EIT Climate-KIC, Europe’s climate innovation body funded by the European Institute of Innovation and Technology, the summit coincides with Ireland’s 2018 Year of Sustainable Business, and is developed in partnership with Sustainable Nation Ireland, supported by Ireland’s Department of Finance.

Paschal Donohoe TD, Minister for Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform, will open the 2018 event. Donohoe said: “Underlining Ireland’s commitment to this vital agenda, I am delighted that Europe’s Climate-KIC has chosen Ireland as the venue for this important gathering. Climate change is one of the most crucial issues facing the world today.

The Summit, which has taken place annually since 2016, connects policymakers, businesses, entrepreneurs, scientists and academics to share best practice and create the opportunities to scale-up the solutions that accelerate climate action.

The 2017 summit took place in Milan. The critical mass of cities, and how they can be a lever for change, was the focal point for cross-sectoral discussion on circular cities, smart infrastructure, sharing economy, climate risk information, resilience and adaptation planning, mobility, urban food and nature-based solutions. 

Climate-KIC is intensifying its focus on finance innovation as a driver of change within cities, manufacturing and land use and the Summit will see the public-private partnership consolidating a number of new initiatives and collaborations ahead of COP24.

Climate-KIC chief executive, Kirsten Dunlop said: “Transforming the financial sector so that it can kickstart a zero-carbon economy necessitates not just new relationships with the finance sector, but new business models, new ways of accounting, reporting and understanding social and environmental value. The Climate Innovation Summit in Dublin will be essential in bringing together these currently disparate efforts across Europe to form a united innovation front in the run up to COP24.”

In Ireland, Climate-KIC is working with Sustainable Nation Ireland in Dublin to build on the city’s position as an emerging hub for green business and finance innovation.

Activities to bolster the city’s climate innovation ecosystem so far have included 88 fully-funded start-up accelerator placements, an open innovation challenge to identify solutions for Dublin’s flood risks, as well as one of the most highly-rated ‘legs’ of Climate-KIC’s pan-European climate innovation summer school, at Trinity College Dublin.

The 85 companies supported by the programme in the past three years now employ 131 people. In 2017 alone, new start-up companies supported by the partnership raised just over €2.3 million in external investment, among them MimergyHexafly and Kollect.

Sustainable Nation works with both the public and private sectors in Ireland to stimulate greater investment into smart innovations, new enterprises and sustainable business practices. It is a platform for those working right across the low-carbon sector and capital markets to come together, understand each other – and ultimately do business together at a local and global level.

Stephen Nolan, chief executive of Sustainable Nation Ireland, said: “We are delighted that Climate-KIC have chosen Dublin as the location for their annual summit. The summit theme of sustainable finance innovation really plays to Irish strengths in this area, strengths that have been nurtured by Climate-KIC and have led to Dublin emerging as a leading international sustainable finance hub.”

Held at Dublin Castle, the summit will convene a multi-disciplinary group of changemakers to advance the innovation in finance, investment flows and accounting needed to decarbonise transport, buildings, and food production – and put Europe on track to meet its climate goals. In Ireland, more than 370 Irish SMEs are now active in the climate-aligned innovation space employing over 4,000 people and the sector is growing.  

Sustainable finance in Europe

Sustainable finance is gathering momentum, with efforts focused on moving it into the mainstream. In March 2018, the European Commission unveiled its action plan on sustainable finance with a roadmap to help the EU drive the estimated €180bn of investment needed every year to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 40 per cent by 2030. 

Since 2010, EIT Climate-KIC and its 280 Partners have leveraged €2.5 billion worth of climate action, harnessing innovation opportunities through more than 150 cross-sector, cross-border partner projects. Over 1000 innovative start-ups have been created in Climate-KIC programmes, attracting €450 million of investment. 

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