Awareness raising on climate change and private sector engagement with members of the Young Entrepreneur Association of Laos

Vientiane Capital, Lao PDR, October 28, 2021.  The Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI), Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MONRE), and the Young Entrepreneur Association of Laos (YEAL) co-hosted an event to raise awareness on private sector engagement in green growth and climate change under strict COVID-19 measures. The event aimed to explore the intersections between climate change and private sectors, presented key policy frameworks and commitments related to climate change, introduced the Green Climate Fund (GCF) as a potential funding source for climate investment, and presented preparatory work of the upcoming regional program on “Collaborative R&DB Programme for Promoting the Innovation of Climate Technopreneurship” supported by the Korean Development Bank (KDB) and the GCF in cooperation with GGGI.    

The workshop was chaired by Mr. Sounadeth Soukchaleun, Deputy Director General of Department of Planning and Finance (DPF) under MONRE, which is the National Designated Authority  to the GCF, and cochaired Mr. Rowan Fraser, GGGI Lao PDR Country Representative, and Mr. Viboon Sithimolada, Vice President of YEAL. The workshop was attended by 14 people (in-person) and 33 people online, most of whom were members of YEAL. 

The impacts of climate change are already being felt across key economic sectors in Laos. Climate hazards such as flood and drought often lead to loss of production, disruption of operation and supply chain, higher costs, and loss of profits. “The private sector needs to understand the impacts and opportunities brought about by climate change and adjust their operations, capital investment strategies and production processes accordingly to remain competitive. Well informed and well positioned firms are those that understand and are able to integrate climate change into their operations” said Mr. Rowan Fraser.  

Lao PDR has made an ambitious commitment to achieve net zero emissions by 2050. This requires sectoral targets such as 30% electric vehicle penetration by 2030, reduction of final energy by 10%, increase renewable energy sources, etc. As a source of knowledge, technology, innovation, and finance, the private sector can contribute to achieving these  targets through engagement and investment. The GCF offers various financial instruments to support mitigation and adaptation projects and has created a dedicated private sector facility aimed at leveraging private sector investment. 

It was agreed by participants that more awareness and capacity building events will be required for Lao private companies to learn and understand more about the GCF’s funding mechanisms, investment criteria, and identify concrete opportunities to engage with the GCF.