Commonwealth and PATH launch new accelerator to support climate and health innovations

December 3, 2023 by PATH

The Commonwealth Secretariat and PATH today announced a new global accelerator to fast-track the development of promising innovations that address the extreme effects of climate change on health systems and public health across the 56 Commonwealth countries.

The Accelerator for Resilience in Climate and Health is an end-to-end accelerator platform that sources, deploys, finances, and scales innovations that help public health systems and communities mitigate, adapt to, and build resilience against the impacts of climate change.

The accelerator has built a strong pipeline of 127 climate and health innovations, with more than 20 high-impact solutions ready to be deployed in the 56 Commonwealth countries.

The Commonwealth Secretary-General, the Rt Hon Patricia Scotland KC, and PATH’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Nikolaj Gilbert, announced the new accelerator at an event, held during the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28) in Dubai.

Announcing the accelerator, Secretary-General Patricia Scotland said:

“This initiative could not be more important. Climate change is the greatest health threat facing humanity, causing hundreds of thousands of deaths and billions in direct health costs. The absence of proven solutions which governments can scale for population-level impact means that tangible action is sparse.

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Nikolaj Gilbert, CEO, PATH, The Right Hon. Patricia Scotland KC, Secretary-General, Commonwealth Secretariat, Ellyanne Wanjiku, Youth Climate Champion Hon. Dr. Michael B. Usi, Minister of Natural Resources & Climate Change, Republic of Malawi.

It is crucial for innovators to bring fresh ideas, rapidly develop solutions and drive implementation for large-scale impact. To support them, we are proud to launch our accelerator programme with PATH. Our work together will kick-start the creation of a global ecosystem of readily deployable climate-health innovations, designed to improve the well-being of 2.5 billion Commonwealth citizens.”

The accelerator will run regular calls for innovators with high-impact climate and health innovations to join the programme. Accepted innovators will be supported with access to policymakers and on-ground operations in the 56 Commonwealth countries as well as technical and financial assistance for innovation deployment and scale-up.

In addition, the accelerator will be made open for support from donors for investing in country government-supported high-impact solutions. Speaking at the event, PATH CEO Nikolaj Gilbert, said: 

“The threat climate change poses to health is universal, but it disproportionately affects vulnerable countries and worsens existing inequalities. The accelerator will back climate and health innovations that help countries build climate-resilient, sustainable health systems and strengthen communities. PATH envisions a future where innovative approaches play a pivotal role in addressing climate-related health issues.”

The accelerator contributes to the objectives outlined in a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Commonwealth Secretariat and PATH, signed in March 2022.