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CATAL1.5°T Initiative: supporting investments in innovative climate start-ups in Latin America and West Africa

Global project ‘Climate Innovations for Business Incubators’

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With the Paris Agreement, 195 countries have pledged to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius. Technological innovations developed by start-ups can play a major role in achieving this target.

In light of this, investments in innovative climate solutions have increased considerably in North America and Europe. However, emerging and developing markets have been less attractive to venture capitalists (VCs) in the past. The general lack of investment experience in these regions makes it difficult for climate start-ups to secure funding.

The investment risk for investors is to be reduced by providing targeted financial and technical support to early-stage founders.


Start-ups and emerging companies in the Global South are enabled to access venture capital more easily, develop climate-protection solutions and support the transition to climate-neutrality.

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The initiative supports innovative companies in Latin America and West Africa. It is supporting 180 start-ups through regional programmes known as CATAL1.5°T platforms. Collectively, they have a climate protection potential of around 58 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions – equivalent to the total emissions of Greece in 2021.

The initiative is broken down into four programmes:

  • The Ecosystem programme supports innovation networks with training sessions on measuring climate potential, promoting gender equality and inclusion, and integrating environmental, social and governance (ESG) aspects. In addition, dialogue between start-ups, VCs and policy-makers is intended to improve the governmental framework conditions.
  • The Accelerator programme helps companies to launch promising products and services more quickly by providing them with training, coaching and start-up funding.
  • In the Pre-accelerator programme, start-ups receive technical support and financial grants to transform their ideas into actual products.
  • The Ideation programme organises climate hackathons (‘Climathons’) in municipalities to develop local start-up communities and come up with ideas for new climate technologies.

Last update: August 2023

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