Ambitious targets for curbing global warming were laid out in the 2015 Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals. Targets that, if they are to be met, will require investments amounting to trillions of dollars across the globe. Renewable energy must become even more affordable and available; energy-efficient transportation will be needed to carry an increasingly mobile world population; sustainable agriculture and forest restoration must substitute unsustainable land use and deforestation; and climate-resilient infrastructures must be built where global warming and rising sea levels already put communities at risk.

To some extent, the technologies necessary already exist – solar and wind power, energy-efficient vehicles, and carbon capture and storage – but enormous investments are needed to deploy these on a meaningful scale. In other areas, existing technologies fall short, and investments must be made in innovation and development. Such “green” investments present exciting and lucrative opportunities for investors.

Foreign investments tend to increase where they are protected by a stable and transparent legal framework, including a neutral and reliable enforcement mechanism. In the absence of such a framework, investors are often hesitant to deploy their funds. Yet no international legal instrument exists that specifically incentivizes and protects green investments. It is against this background that the SCC and its partners are launching the Stockholm Treaty Lab Prize  – an innovation prize that aims to address the “policy gap” between the objectives of the international climate change agreements, and the outcomes that those agreements envision.

The Stockholm Treaty Lab will be awarded to the contestant team that drafts a forward-looking, innovative and workable model treaty that aims to encourage investment in climate change mitigation and adaptation.