friDAY, MARCH 11TH, 2016

climate solutions summit

Times & Sessions Subject to Change


Climate Summit Welcome with Dana Lanza, CEO, Confluence                     Philanthropy, and Jason Scott, Partner, Encourage Capital and Co-Founder, CREO Syndicate


Keynote Address with Rick Duke, Deputy Director, White House Office of Energy and Climate Change


Plenary: The Role of Public-Private Partnership in Driving                   Investment in Climate Solutions

With economies worldwide growing rapidly, the concentrations of C02 and other greenhouse gases (GHG) in the earth’s atmosphere have reached dangerous levels.The world economy is now estimated at $90 trillion USD and C02 concentrations have reached 403.94 parts per million (PPM) as of May of 2015.  Achieving global carbon-reduction targets requires tactical, large-scale investment. This in turn depends on extraordinary cooperation between the public and private sectors. With rising GHG levels, a significant increase in funding for climate-related investing and project finance is required to avoid the worst-case scenarios of climate change. However, many questions still remain unanswered about the most efficient methods to mitigate climate change; the sources for government spending, loans, and equity investments into such mitigations; and how the public and private sector will work together to form a balanced financial structure to finance this work. Please join us to learn from four leading experts from the public and private sectors as we learn more about the obstacles and opportunities for collaboration.


  • Aimée Christensen, Executive Director, Sun Valley Institute For Resilience And CEO, Christensen Global Strategies (Moderator)
  • Christine Eibs Singer, Senior Advisor, Sustainable Energy for All Initiative
  • Colin le Duc, Partner, Generation Investment Management
  • Sanjiv Malhotra, Director, Clean Energy Investment Center, U.S Department of Energy
  • Jim Rogers, Retired Chairman, Duke Energy Corporation 






Climate Finance Gaps: Presenting a Variety of Perspectives on the Opportunities and Challenges Ahead

Climate finance is a large, sprawling and unwieldy topic, with a definition far beyond energy generation or cleantech commercialization. This session will attempt to honor that complexity through the presentation of a variety of different perspectives, along with data released recently, on climate finance gaps, as well as the inherent opportunities that arise from them. The diverse panel will discuss their unique frames of reference as an early-stage cleantech private equity investor, a foundation investing in resiliency and infrastructure, a social sector consulting group who will reveal findings from a study recently completed on the role of philanthropy in climate finance, and a policy expert who will discuss clean energy data sharing as well as the role that philanthropy can play in emerging markets. The panel will provide insight from their unique lens into this broad challenge, explore overlap and opportunities, and engage in a robust audience dialogue on this challenging but important subject. 


  • John Balbach, Program Officer, MacArthur Foundation (Moderator)
  • Jason Blau, Associate Principal, Redstone Strategy Group, LLC
  • Rob Day, Partner, Black Coral Capital
  • Rodney Overcash, Director, Credit Strategies, Margaret A. Cargill Philanthropies  
  • Ethan Zindler, Head of Americas and Policy, Bloomberg New Energy Finance


Ensuring Energy Access through Impact Investing

The large scale deployment of renewable, off grid technology has the potential to dramatically improve livelihoods in areas without reliable access to energy in a manner that is both socially responsible and environmentally sustainable.  Doing so will require cooperation from a wide a variety of investors, development institutions, and service providers.  Our panel will feature active investors and enterprises discussing recent transactions and highlighting best practices for collaboration. 

Leading solar home system distributors have recently succeeded in raising not only equity financing, but have begun to construct innovative off balance sheet financing vehicles and debt offerings to accelerate capital flows into the market.  Our panel will explore the full range of financing tools that are being used in the market and how guarantees, PRIs, and grants are being used in parallel to catalyze some of these structures.


  • Greg Neichin, Director, Ceniarth LLC (Moderator)
  • Arjun Batra, Co-Founder & Head of Product, Lendable
  • Amie Patel, Vice President, Alternative Investments & Manager Selection, Goldman Sachs
  • Jeffrey Prins, Program Manager, DOEN Foundation 


Finding the Right Accelerator to Kickstart Your Early Stage Cleantech Investing with the US Department of Energy

Rapidly developing and scaling low carbon solutions is essential to advancing the clean economy and addressing the climate challenge.  But aspiring clean economy entrepreneurs often need support to bring their early stage innovations to market. Numerous incubators, accelerators, and other start up programs have emerged to provide this support, making the landscape increasingly robust, but also challenging for potential incubator investors and sponsors to navigate. 

Please join us for a critical discussion with innovators at the forefront of this growing space about what entrepreneurs need, the pros and cons of different models, and how to navigate investment opportunities focused on accelerating clean economy solutions.


  • Nick Eisenberger, Managing Partner, Pure Energy Partners (Moderator)
  • Jennifer Garson, Tech to Market Analyst, U.S. Department of Energy
  • Danny Kennedy, Managing Director, California Clean Energy Fund
  • Nicholas Parker, Managing Partner and Co-Founder, Global Acceleration Partners
  • Pat Sapinsley, Managing Director of Cleantech Initiatives, NYU’s Tandon School of Engineering


The Role of Asset Classes in Driving Climate Solutions: How to Find the Right Fit for Your Portfolio

Institutional investors seeking climate solutions related opportunities have historically faced somewhat limited and disparate options across a few asset categories. Public equity pure-plays have been thin and volatile, and private equity options have been mostly relegated to “cleantech venture capital” (with its mixed results and narrowly-defined strategy) and traditional power infrastructure project finance, which has also had returns challenges in today’s low-yield market environment. A comprehensive and integrated approach, however, is now increasingly possible. This session will discuss some of the options available to investors for putting capital profitably to work across asset categories, and will particularly discuss cross-category and new investment models that are emerging.


  • Shelley Alpern, Director of Social Research & Advocacy, Clean Yield Asset Management (Moderator)
  • Chris Larson, President and Chief Executive Officer, New Island Capital
  • Steve Lydenberg, Partner, Domini Social Investments
  • Reid Smith, Principal, Mercer


The Role of Philanthropy in Financing Climate Solutions with Climate and Energy Funders Group

This session will offer an overview and discussion of a variety strategies that foundations can catalyze to help finance climate solutions. Michael Northrop, a pioneer in climate grantmaking, will share his perspectives as one of the early funders in the field and relate how climate financing strategies have evolved over time. Ellen Dorsey, will share The Wallace Global Fund’s amazing journey as a seed funder of the Divest/ Invest Movement and the important role of investment. Reid Detchon, will discuss the range of policies and interventions to mobilize more finance for climate solutions, both internationally and within the U.S. Ample discussion will be an important component of this session.


  • Jason Scott, Partner, Encourage Capital and Co-Founder, CREO Syndicate (Moderator)
  • Sharon Alpert, President & CEO, Nathan Cummings Foundation
  • Reid Detchon, Vice President of Energy and Climate Strategy, UN Foundation
  • Ellen Dorsey, Executive Director, Wallace Global Fund


networking reception on site