Hey climate heroes! Welcome to The Climate Roundup, where we round up the change, er the news about climate and the environment. As part of the Gen E community, we thank you for making climate action part of everyday life. (Reading this newsletter counts!)
We Got This, We’re Doing Great:
What drops of wisdom would you tell your 18 year old self? To jumpstart some end of year reflection, I recommend reading this beautiful compilation of letters written by people leading in philanthropic endeavors, as they give their younger selves advice. Full of inspiration and the goodness of humanity, it provides a window into the souls of people who found their purpose, with insights into their journeys in getting there.
Climate Innovation Funding:
🏭 Green hydrogen: A retired coal plant in Texas will be the site of the largest green hydrogen facility in the U.S. Powered by wind and solar plus $4B, it’s also the largest clean energy investment since the IRA passed.
👩🚒 Wildfire Prevention: San Francisco-based Earth Force is a vegetation management startup that raised $8.6M for its unique technology system of telecomms, field sensors, and gps, connecting the multiple parties involved in fire monitoring and suppression, while also creating jobs in this era of unfortunate growth in wildfires.
🚛 Electrifying Trucking: Range Energy raised $8M for its electric powered trailers that cut emissions from heavy-duty trucks by 40% and can hook up to any tow vehicle. They’re offering a solution to cut emissions now until fully electric trucks hit the market.
🚀 Nuclear Energy: SPACs are back and X Energy is leveraging this deal vehicle to go public with a $2B valuation for its small modular nuclear reactors intended to supplement intermittent energy sources like wind and solar. They’re also working on nuclear thermal propulsion rockets to Mars, nbd.
GETTING DOWN TO CLIMATE BUSINESS:
📊 Climate Innovation Tracker: EDF, a Gen E platform nonprofit, launched a cool interactive tool you can use to understand how U.S. federal agencies are funding climate innovation. Slice and dice by sector and solution, then crush it at the next climate trivia night. That’s a thing, right?
🚖 Flying Taxis: Clean urban air mobility is something we can likely expect to see take off later this decade. Flying electric taxis, or eVTOLs (electric vertical takeoff and landing aircrafts) could soon take you from lower Manhattan to JFK airport in a clean 7 minutes 🤯 for the price of an Uber Black 🤯, per Axios. U.S. companies Joby and Archer are leading the charge and scaling up production to start their services in 2025. And damn if this Archer design isn’t the sexiest aircraft I’ve ever seen.
🥷 ESG Wars: Things are heating up as an onslaught of pro-fossil fuel Hail Marys are being thrown in final attempts to halt financing of The Great Decarbonization. All the following just in the last week: Influenced by the ongoing Republican attack on ESG investing, Vanguard pulled out of a global net zero alliance to not “confuse” their investors about any alignments with the alliance’s goal to decarbonize the $66T in member assets by 2050. Florida is divesting $2B in state pension funds from Blackrock due to the firm’s leadership stance on environmental, social, and governance investing. And finally, Blackrock’s CEO, Larry Fink, is being called on to resign by North Carolina’s Treasurer for being too focused on ESG, while a UK-based activist hedge fund wants him to resign for not being ESG enough. This battle is going to get even messier, folks, but we’re betting the planet on the demise of fossil fuel pollution one way or another.
30%: REVISED FORECASTED INCREASE FROM A YEAR AGO IN GROWTH OF GLOBAL RENEWABLE ENERGY CAPACITY IN THE NEXT 5 YEARS (IEA)
38%: FORECASTED SHARE OF RENEWABLES IN THE GLOBAL POWER MIX BY 2027, OVERTAKING COAL AS THE LARGEST SOURCE OF ELECTRICITY GENERATION (IEA)
Thanks for reading! – Kristen