About Us

The Fire Awards accelerate powerful, early-stage pilots and businesses that can unlock finance for clean energy and green growth. The awards focus on initiatives that are already “on fire” – and need business development support to achieve impact at scale.

The Fire Awards are presented by the Global Innovation Lab for Climate Finance.

The Challenge

Investment in clean energy, energy efficiency, and other activities to mitigate and adapt to climate change totaled USD 391 billion in 2014 (CPI, 2015). However, current spending on clean energy and green growth is insufficient to limit climate change to 2 degrees Celsius, and up to USD 16.5 trillion is needed to meet this goal between now and 2030. This requires a sea change in our economic system – from a high-carbon economy, to a low-carbon, climate-resilient economy.

The Vision

The Fire Awards seek to support and build momentum for early-stage pilots and businesses that are already showing promise through existing pilots, and need help scaling. In particular, The Fire Awards provide profile-raising, business development, and communications support to initiatives that can spur commercial investment and transformation in clean energy and green growth.


The Fire Awards run in annual cycles.


If an initiative is selected by the Fire Advisory Board and Lab Members, the Champion and team for that initiative will work with analysts, communications specialists, and industry experts to:

  • Develop a 3-minute pitch for the BNEF Future of Energy Summit
  • Deliver their pitch to 2,000 investors and leaders who attend the Summit
  • Outline a 6-month workplan defining outputs required for success

If an initiative is voted a winner at the BNEF Future of Energy Summit, the Champion and team for that idea will receive support from a working group of experts that will provide input or feedback on one or more of the following, in order to help them implement their workplan:

  • Market research
  • Investor landscaping
  • Pitch deck creation or refinement
  • Stakeholder outreach and strategy


In close coordination with the Global Innovation Lab for Climate Finance, the Fire Awards criteria include the following:


Identifies (1) the type of entity(ies) that could implement it, (2) the pathway towards implementation and expansion, including the timeframe, activities, and key milestones, and (3) possible challenges to implementation and expansion, as well as related management strategies.


Demonstrates the ability to address, directly or indirectly, barriers to private climate finance that (1) have not yet been addressed or (2) that will be addressed more effectively compared to other approaches in the market.


Demonstrates potential to (1) mobilize private investment within a sizable market, (2) be scaled up or replicated in other contexts and, (3) achieve socioeconomic, development, and environmental impacts.

Financially Sustainable

Financially sustainable when it identifies (1) a strategy to phase out public or concessional finance support, thereby achieving market viability and (2) possible challenges to achieving its intended objectives and related management strategies.