$3-Million Asia Seed Fund Unveiled to Fight Climate Change, Drive Sustainability
Asia and the Pacific has faced some of the harshest effects of climate change globally. Last year, more than 57 million people in the region were severely affected by climate-related disasters. This priority for climate action has led AVPN, the world’s largest network of social investors in Asia, to launch the APAC Sustainability Seed Fund.
The $3-million fund has been made possible through the support of Google.org, Google’s philanthropic arm, and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) as a strategic and outreach partner of the fund. The fund will provide support to non-profit organizations in 11 markets that are using technology-based solutions to combat climate change and drive sustainability. The markets include Australia; Hong Kong, China; India; Indonesia; Japan; New Zealand; Singapore; Republic of Korea; Taipei, China; Thailand; and Viet Nam.
“This initiative is an opportunity for public and private organizations to come together in the shared responsibility to work toward climate and sustainability solutions. We’re excited by the possibilities of using technology, including many of our own tools and platforms, to build scalable and impactful solutions that help tackle the threats presented by climate change," said Google Vice-President of Government Affairs and Public Policy for Asia Pacific Michaela Browning. "Working in close partnership with AVPN and ADB, we look forward to supporting non-profits that are working on promising technology-based solutions, to help them to scale these and take them to the next level."
The announcement was made at the recently concluded AVPN Global Conference, the world’s largest networking event for social investors in Asia.
Funding impact projects
“Sustainability is at the core of AVPN’s mission, which is why this landmark fund, made possible with support from Google.org and ADB, brings us closer to our vision of moving more capital toward impact. This fund is part of our wider efforts with the AVPN Climate Action Platform, which has now facilitated over 55 climate-related deals with a total value of $75 million+ on the platform,” said AVPN CEO Naina Subberwal Batra during the conference.
Greenhouse gas emissions are set to increase as the economy recovers post-pandemic, with a drastic change in global consumption patterns and an increasing need for energy generation that is mainly fossil-based. ADB reported that many countries in Asia Pacific, especially low-lying and small island countries, are extremely vulnerable to disastrous impacts of climate change, such as extreme precipitation events, heat waves, rising sea levels, and loss of biodiversity. This will affect millions in the region, especially marginalized and vulnerable communities who are most impacted by climate change.
With Southeast Asia needing $1.3 trillion in green financing, there is a huge funding gap for climate action and sustainability efforts. Through the seed fund, AVPN aims to provide financing to address sustainable development.
Application to the fund is open from November 2022 to January 2023. Grantees will be selected through an online application process.
The selected grantees will not only receive a cash grant that they can use to scale up their innovative solutions in sustainability, but also will gain access to Google’s technology and Google volunteers.