Who’s who in Climate, Environment, Finance, Infrastructure and Data

Over the past 18 months we’ve spoken to many hundreds of people representing hundreds of organisations.

One observation is that there isn’t a clear category for those working at the intersections of climate and environment, finance and infrastructure. Another common question is how might Icebreaker One fit with other initiatives out there?

Why are these intersections important?

To address our climate and biodiversity emergencies we need to make the right investment decisions that minimise environmental impact. The largest investments we make—in the $trillions—are around our infrastructure. A common ask from everyone has been “we need better data” (better access to existing data, to better quality data, and to new data).

There are many disparate initiatives, but a fragmented landscape is also a good sign— it indicates there are strong drivers from many organisations who are trying to solve a common problem. At some point many will collaborate or combine or develop specific, localised solutions. We aim to play a role in enabling this. To identify the category of programmes and organisations in this space, we abbreviate to CEFID to cover Climate, Environment, Finance, Infrastructure and Data.

Mapping the CEFID landscape
We’ve identified over 200 collaborative initiatives (so far):  

View, comment and add to
The CEFID directory — http://bit.ly/ib1-cefid

NB: we are not adding individual commercial solutions providers to this list, that’s for another time

What we’ve learned so far

There are many different types of initiative and many different self-descriptions: this is causing confusion. For example the word ‘platform’ is used to mean many different things: a ‘platform for discussion’ and bringing people together (e.g. UN DRR), a social network, a database, a dashboard, a technology stack, a funding initiative, or ‘portal’ (which also has many uses).  So, while ‘platform’ works in-context, it is too dilute in a broader context, so we have chosen different words (e.g. ‘tool’, ‘network’). 

Some are overarching principles, such as the Principles for Sustainable Insurance (PSI), the ClimateWise principles or the Poseidon Principles. These are frameworks within which their signatories operate, and standards of reporting to which they conform. 

Others are tools, such as MapX or ResourceWatch, help monitor the use of Earth’s resources, and make this information available for researchers and policy makers. 

We’ve mapped facilities and programmes such as the World Bank’s Global Facility for Disaster Risk Reduction or the Global Index Insurance Facility, which fund and further specific products or aims. Others are ‘risk pools’, such as the African Risk Capacity or the Pacific Catastrophe Risk Insurance Company which provide insurance at intra-governmental level.

We’ve looked at partnerships and alliances who bring together diverse actors such as the InsuResilience Global Partnership, the Insurance Development Forum and the Geneva Association.  Each one works with a slightly different set of actors – for example, InsuResilience focuses on the protection gap and increasing the reach of insurance in the V20. The Insurance Development Forum explores how to extend the use of insurance and related risk management capabilities to build greater resilience. The Geneva Association brings together the CEOs of major insurers and reinsurers to support research programmes pertinent to board-level discussions.

Where is Icebreaker One on the map?
We have not found any initiatives in the specific space where Icebreaker One sits—“sorting out the plumbing” (standards) that enable data sharing across businesses for research, tools, analysis, and decision-making.  Icebreaker One seeks to address use-cases and blockers faced between finance, policy and science to help people reduce risk and develop new products, to find efficiencies and create resilient businesses. 

With our partners, we’ve been compiling user-stories based on “if this – then that” scenarios: what if the environmental and financial data they needed to make decisions were easily addressable? What if they were able to make the data they have available easily findable and usable by others (in both commercial and non-commercial settings)?

If you think we might have missed someone, or you’d like to contribute to the map, get in touch with gea@ib1.org or simply add directly using this open spreadsheet: http://bit.ly/ib1-cefid