Scaling Climate Resilience Solutions and Technologies in Developing Countries
Between 1998 and 2017, disasters triggered by natural hazards caused $2.2 trillion in economic damages worldwide, with floods and storms accounting for 69% of these damages. Floods, storms, and drought together affected over 4 billion people in this period, and these natural hazards are expected to increase in frequency and/or intensity due to climate change. Climate-related disasters also disproportionately affect developing countries.
To address these impacts of climate change, massive investments in adaptation are needed. The United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) estimates that the costs of adaptation in developing countries could be as high as $300 billion by 2030; yet, the Climate Policy Initiative (CPI) estimates that $30 billion (approximately 5% of globally tracked climate finance) is currently being directed towards adaptation or resilience – with virtually none from private financing sources. In addition, small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), which are often best equipped to provide local solutions for climate resilience, are often challenged to access the financing and resources they need to grow.
We believe there are hundreds, if not thousands, of small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) operating in developing countries around that world that have products, technologies, and solutions that can support climate adaptation and resilience (many without realizing it). By identify, integrating, and incubating/accelerating these SMEs, ASAP hopes to set the groundwork necessary to scale climate adaptation solutions in the places where they are needed most.
The Adaptation SME Accelerator Project
ASAP is a public initiative that seeks to build an ecosystem for early-stage companies in emerging markets that have technologies, products, and services that can be used to build resilience to the physical impacts of climate change. The program includes the identification of Adaptation SMEs, the development of a comprehensive taxonomy to define which types of products and services are considered “climate resilience & adaptation solutions”, a series of regional conferences and networking opportunities for Adaptation SMEs and other stakeholders, and partnerships with existing incubator and accelerator programs to develop adaptation, resilience and social impact-focused curriculum for Adaptation SMEs.
ASAP is an initiative led by the Lightsmith Group.
The Lightsmith Group pursues private equity investments that target superior returns for investors. Lightsmith partners with growth-stage companies providing technology- enabled business services and solutions in the areas of energy, water, food and agriculture, and climate resilience that address critical societal needs and helps the companies scale their solutions globally.