NEW YORK--(Stephan Ouaknine, chairman and CEO of the Montreal-based clean energy investment firm Inerjys, has been invited to the Clinton Global Initiative to discuss finance for impact and scale. Ouaknine is challenging the CGI community to not just to devote more resources and attention to clean energy—but to rethink how finance can be used as part of the solution.)--
“As investors we focus on the bottom line, and at the same time we can have a positive impact on energy and the environment.”
President Clinton opened the annual meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative on Sunday under the theme of Designing for Impact. This year’s event will include participation by President Obama, Governor Mitt Romney, and Ban Ki-moon, among other heads of state, business magnates and philanthropic leaders.
Ouaknine and other thought leaders are assembled at CGI to discuss solutions to major global challenges such as sustainable energy and climate change.
Despite the enormous importance that has been placed on climate change and clean energy—as well as the billions of dollars in public and private capital that have been poured into efforts—investors and environmental advocates have been disappointed by the results.
“There is a tremendous opportunity as we switch to a clean energy future,” noted Ouaknine. “But right now, clean energy is too expensive. Clean technologies are not turning a profit for investors, so it’s no surprise they are not achieving scale fast enough.”
At CGI, Ouaknine is presenting Inerjys’ financing model which combines two asset classes that have previously been separate: growth equity investment in clean technology businesses, and clean energy infrastructure project development.
“Our team looked at the structural barriers in the clean energy sector, and we designed a financing solution that overcomes them,” said Ouaknine. “As investors we focus on the bottom line, and at the same time we can have a positive impact on energy and the environment.”
“A major strength of the CGI event is bringing together leaders from the public and private sectors,” remarked Ouaknine. “Government and private enterprise working together is the only way forward.”
“It’s also a great honour for me to showcase the financial and energy leadership coming out of Quebec and Canada on the world stage.”
The Clinton Global Initiative meeting continues until Tuesday, September 25. Live video feed of the session featuring Inerjys, along with other CGI session, is available on the CGI website.
About the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI)
Established in 2005 by President Bill Clinton, the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) convenes global leaders to create and implement innovative solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges. CGI Annual Meetings have brought together more than 150 heads of state, 20 Nobel Prize laureates, and hundreds of leading CEOs, heads of foundations and NGOs, major philanthropists, and members of the media. To date CGI members have made more than 2,100 commitments, which are already improving the lives of nearly 400 million people in more than 180 countries. When fully funded and implemented, these commitments will be valued at $69.2 billion.
CGI’s Annual Meeting is held each September in New York City. CGI also convenes CGI America, a meeting focused on collaborative solutions to economic recovery in the United States, and CGI University (CGI U), which brings together undergraduate and graduate students to address pressing challenges in their community or around the world. For more information, visit clintonglobalinitiative.org and follow us on Twitter @ClintonGlobal and Facebook at facebook.com/clintonglobalinitiative.
Inerjys is a $1billion initiative to reinvent the clean technology and renewable energy sector by investing vertically across the value chain. To overcome market barriers and accelerate the pace of innovation, Inerjys invests growth equity in leading technology firms while simultaneously building utility-scale clean technology projects worldwide.
Founded in Montreal in 2011 by Stephan Ouaknine, a celebrated serial entrepreneur, the innovative Inerjys approach has been featured at global events including the Durban World Climate Summit, the Clinton Global Initiative, and the Rio+20 Green Summit.