As we recently saw at the 4th Mission Innovation (MI-4) Ministerial in Vancouver, MI has built a great deal of momentum since its launch at COP21 in 2015. When I assumed the role of Steering Committee Chair after MI-3 in Malmö, MI had, under Patrick Child’s (European Commission) leadership, already solidified partnerships with IRENA, WEF, the IEA and Breakthrough Energy. It was also under Patrick’s leadership that the MI Champions Program was launched, further expanding the MI network.
For my year as Chair, I wanted to continue these efforts and further establish MI as a major player on the global clean energy agenda. But, I felt it was important to engage with MI members. From the onset, I wanted to establish an open dialogue with each MI member to discuss ways to achieve our shared goals and deliver on our mandate.
What members expressed as priorities can be summed up by:
- Strengthening private sector engagement in MI,
- Collaboration among MI members and demonstrating impact,
- Improving MI’s communications effort and visibility.
Over the last year, MI delivered on these three elements.
- Private sector engagement: Breakthrough Energy announced two valuable initiatives with the European Commission and with Canada. The MI 1.5oC Compatibility Framework enables private investors to identify innovations that have the potential to accelerate clean energy innovations. MI-4 further built private sector participation in the public-private breakfast and roundtables. This was possible thanks to the support of MI partners such as WEF and Breakthrough Energy. We also felt it was important to add the innovation showcase to offer industry associations and companies of all sizes the opportunity to interact with decision makers. And in fact, we had 1800 visitors to the Showcase over the two days.
- Collaboration and impact: The Impact Report showcased an additional investment of $4.6B annually in clean energy innovation activities. Of that, $1.3B has been invested in 59 new collaborative projects that advance clean energy innovation. Earlier this year, MI did an assessment of the Innovation Challenges and action plans were developed to further engage the private sector and encourage greater collaboration between MI members.
- Communications: MI made great strides this year by convening a Communications Network, developing a visual identity and refreshed website, and increasing its social media presence. MI-4 generated significant traditional and social media attention. In fact, over 11,000 posts used the #CEMMI2019 hashtag, reaching nearly 65 million users, thanks to engagement with key influencers like Breakthrough Energy and Bill Gates, as well as World Bank, IRENA, and IEA.
There is still plenty of work to do and exciting challenges ahead. While Chile is gearing up to host MI-5 next year, and as noted by our Heads of Delegation in Vancouver, it is important that we now develop options for MI beyond 2020.
I firmly believe that MI stands stronger when we collaborate with each other and with international organizations in the clean energy field. I am hopeful that together with WEF, IRENA, IEA and Breakthrough Energy – along with our recently added partners: World Bank and Global Covenant of Mayors – we will push toward greater success in delivering our mandate. I am also hopeful that we will continue to be inclusive – adding youth and gender diversity – to broaden and contribute to the clean energy innovation dialogue.
MI’s success is invariably dependant on the engagement of its members, and together we are enabling MI to significantly contribute to global efforts to address climate change and make clean energy accessible and affordable. By collectively delivering on our objectives (e.g. international collaboration), MI is shaping up to be critical in the global effort to accelerate and intensify the actions and investments needed for a sustainable low carbon future.
It has been an honour and a privilege to serve as Chair of the MI Steering Committee. The year ahead will surely be exciting and I am confident that John Loughhead (United Kingdom) will do a fantastic job as our Chair.
Frank Des Rosiers (Canada)
Outgoing Chair, Mission Innovation Steering Committee