Events, GFCR, SCF, Thought Leadership

A Vatican 3-day Summit for bending the curve and bouncing forward to climate resilience

Building Resilience in the Face of Climate Challenges

Pope Francis has condemned inaction on climate change as immoral and a violation of human rights. As our climate crisis continues to threaten health and safety and economic development, bold action from the private sector is urgently needed to build more resilient communities and     ecosystems.

I recently had the great honor of attending the “From Climate Crisis to Climate Resilience” conference at the Vatican, sponsored by the Pontifical Academies. This was a significant event in the global climate conversation, sharing vital perspectives and real-world experiences. This gathering brought together a diverse group of governors, mayors, educators, and nonprofit leaders, all dedicated to tackling pressing climate needs.

As the only private sector climate investor at the conference, Pegasus Capital Advisors had an important opportunity to contribute to these critical discussions. It was a pleasure to listen and learn from everyone there and I’d like to share a few of the biggest takeaways I came home with below.


Building Resilient Systems

This conference was a powerful reminder of the interconnectedness of climate challenges and the importance of collaboration in addressing them. During my session, “Financing Resiliency,” I spoke about why building resilient systems for water management, food production, and waste is vital for climate adaptation. We can increase sustainable economic development by integrating innovative solutions and local partnerships. Pegasus is committed to being pioneers in this journey, adapting to different cultures, and leveraging our expertise and partnerships to create impactful solutions.


Climate Change and Health

Climate change is a pressing health crisis, especially for vulnerable populations such as children and women. Pollution-related respiratory issues and the spread of vector-borne diseases in warming regions are escalating. Extreme weather events, like heat waves and floods, lead to health issues such as heatstroke, dehydration, and waterborne diseases.

The fragile healthcare systems of Small Island States and Least Developed Countries leave the communities particularly vulnerable to these climate shocks. Addressing these health impacts requires thoughtful strategies tailored to the specific needs of each community. We need to develop solutions that prioritize the health and well-being of these populations, including climate-smart cooking for medicines and emergency shelter.

Securing Food and Water Resources

Another urgent topic discussed was the impact of climate change on food and water security. Limited water resources and challenged crop production are more common as weather patterns shift. Proper water allocation is crucial for food, air conditioning and agriculture. Building resilient food and water systems is vital for sustaining communities. This requires strategic decisions that prioritize limited resources and leverage renewable energy to ensure these fundamental needs are met. We will need to proceed with the understanding that choices, hard choices, will need to be made on how and where resources such as water and renewables are allocated.

Pegasus is actively addressing these challenges through our work with partners like the Green Climate Fund (GCF), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and our Subnational Climate Fund (SCF). This approach is central to how we identify and invest in projects, ensuring that they deliver multiple co-benefits and build resilience. We consider both the costs and benefits of green infrastructure projects to verify that solutions are effective, durable, and economically viable. For example, our cold chain storage initiatives in Africa were developed with this approach and aim to reduce food waste and improve food security by maintaining the quality of perishable goods from farm to table.

The Path Forward

Change happens from the bottom up, requiring significant groundwork at the community level to adopt sustainable practices and technologies. This gradual process requires time and persistence for people to adapt. Local and state government cooperation is critical.

The challenges are significant, but so are the opportunities. By focusing on health, food and water security, and resilient communities, we can make meaningful progress in the fight against climate change. Urgent, bold action from the private sector is crucial now to build sustainable systems preserving life and livelihoods for the future.

Video recording

  • Craig Cogut begins at 1:30
  • Craig Cogut ends at 17:54
  • Craig Cogut re-enters at 1:31:48
  • Craig Cogut ends at 1:32:29