🌍 Climate highs and lows #167

The UK’s climate policy rollback puts a damper on global climate talks


Happy Monday!

It was a treat to meet so many readers in person at NY Climate Week. Kim and Grace will be at the DOE’s Deploy23 conference tomorrow and Wednesday in DC. Let us know if you’ll be there too! Today, we zoom in on the disconcerting decision to slow climate action in the UK, plus a few more headlines you may have missed during NYCW.

Much (much) further south, Antarctica’s sea-ice levels are at record lows for mid-September. Drought conditions are causing saltwater to creep into the drinking water of communities along the Mississippi River, and the DOE puts $325M toward long-duration energy storage projects.

In deals this week, sustainable agriculture reaps $250M. Corporate carbon footprint tracking collects $27M, and forestry and battery interests intersect to invest $18M toward bio-graphite for lithium-ion cells.

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UK climate policy slide

In a shocking press conference on Wednesday, UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced delays and rollbacks to the nation’s climate policies.

The prime minister maintained the country's commitment to reach net zero by 2050, but these actions are likely to delay progress toward that target and cost consumers billions.

Source: CarbonBrief

Legal trouble: The UK is one of 32 countries facing charges in the European court of human rights this week, alleging the nations’ climate actions fall short of their human rights obligations. The move by Sunak may actually undermine the UK’s defense, which cited key climate policies that he scrapped last week.

The news came just as the United Nations was highlighting “first movers and doers” during the Climate Ambition Summit in New York, sparking outrage from many in attendance.

Other global takes: Leaders from the UK, China, France, and the US skipped the UN climate gathering. China’s climate envoy said that phasing out fossil fuels is “unrealistic” during comments at a Beijing conference, as island nations once again called out climate inaction by rich countries on the floor of the UN.

Meanwhile, the “Olympics of Oil,” formally known as the World Petroleum Conference, took place in Canada last week. Some energy experts see peak oil demand around the corner, but fossil fuel execs pushed back hard ahead of COP28.

We'll leave you with few (more encouraging) headlines still trickling out of NYCW:

Deals of the Week (9/19-9/23)

Venture Fundings

🌾 Indigo Ag, a Boston, MA-based sustainable agriculture platform, raised $250M from Flagship Pioneering, State of Michigan Retirement System and Lingotto Investment Management.

🌱 Plan A, a Berlin, Germany-based corporate carbon footprint tracking platform, raised $27M in Series A funding from Lightspeed Venture Partners, Demeter, Deutsche Bank, HV Capital, and Keen Venture Partners.

🔋 CarbonScape, a Riverlands, New Zealand-based biographite developer, raised $18M from Stora Enso and Amperex Technology.

🏭 Mojave, a Palo Alto, CA-based liquid desiccant air conditioning provider, raised $12M in funding from Xerox Ventures, At One Ventures and Fifth Wall.

💨 C-Capture, a Leeds, UK-based post-combustion CCS developer, raised $12M from Northern Gritstone, Kiko Ventures, Drax and bp Ventures.

RAIN, a Alameda, CA-based aerial wildfire containment technology provider, raised $10M in Seed funding from DBL Partners, Kapor Capital, VoLo Earth Ventures, Convective Capital, and other investors.

💧 Oneka Technologies, Sherbrooke, Canada-based wave-powered desalination technology provider, raised $9M in Series A funding from the Hoffecker Family, Horizon Capital Holdings, AQC Capital, Propulia Capital, Invest Nova Scotia, and other investors.

Peregrine Hydrogen, a Seattle, WA-based green hydrogen and chemicals developer, raised $8M in Seed funding from Bidra, Builders VC, Gates Frontier, Presidio Ventures, RiSC Capital, and other investors.

🔋 Yotta Energy, an Austin, TX-based solar and storage installation platform, raised $8M in Series A funding from Evergy Ventures, Doral Energy-Tech Ventures, EDP Ventures, and SWAN Impact Network.

☀️ BoxPower, a Grass Valley, CA-based rural solar microgrid project developer, raised $7M in Series A funding from Aligned Climate Capital, Climate Capital, and TechNexus Venture Collaborative.

Electron, a London, UK-based distributed resource energy marketplace, raised $5M from East Innovate, Riverstone, Nesta, and One Planet Capital.

🔋 Green Li-ion, a Singapore, Singapore-based lithium-ion battery recycling platform, raised $4M from Twin Towers Ventures.

☀️ Mona Lee, a Boston, MA-based residential solar installation platform, raised $3M in Seed funding from Ludlow Ventures, Shrug VC, Palm Tree Crew, Coalition Operators, Plug and Play Ventures, and other investors.

🌳 Kateri, a San Francisco, CA-based custom regenerative ranching programs platform, raised $3M in Seed funding from Shell Ventures, Unruly Capital and Clocktower Technology Ventures.

Renew Risk, a London, UK-based clean-energy risk analytics platform, raised $2M in Seed funding from Insurtech Gateway and One Planet Capital.

🏠 Openvolt, a Dublin, Ireland-based smart meter data API platform, raised $2M in Seed funding from Übermorgen Ventures.

🚗 Cardino, Berlin, Germany-based secondhand EV marketplace, raised $1M in Pre-Seed funding from FJ Labs and Gaingels.

☀️ Solfy, a Barcelona, Spain-based residential solar energy marketplace, raised $1M from Ona Capital.

🏭 Immaterial, a Cambridge, UK-based advanced materials platform, raised an undisclosed amount in Series A funding from SLB, AP Ventures, Cepsa, Chevron Technology Ventures, Energy Revolution Ventures, and other investors.

✈️ ZeroAvia, a Hollister, CA-based hydrogen plane developer, raised an undisclosed amount in Series C funding from Barclays, AP Ventures, Amazon Climate Pledge Fund, Breakthrough Energy Ventures, Ecosystem Integrity Fund, and other investors.

XCharge, a Hamburg, Germany-based EV charging platform, raised an undisclosed amount in Series C funding from Shell Ventures.


🔋 Redux Recycling, a Bremerhaven, Germany-based lithium-ion battery recycling developer, was acquired by Redwood Materials for an undisclosed amount.

New Funds

EcoBridge, a climate fund set up by former U.S. President Bill Clinton and Israeli billionaire Ziv Aviram, announced its target to raise $1B.

Lowercarbon Capital, the Chris Sacca-led investment fund, raised $550M across two new funds for new and existing companies.

Astanor Ventures, a Brussels, Belgium-based investment fund, closed its $385M fund focusing on the sustainable bioeconomy.

Trailhead Capital, a Boulder, CO-based investment fund, closed its $50M fund that invests in regenerative food and agriculture companies.

Gutter Capital, a New York City, NY-based investment fund, raised $25M of its $50M fund that invests in early-stage software startups across social and climate verticals.

Share new deals and announcements with us at [email protected]

In the News

The Rockefeller Foundation, a philanthropic juggernaut seeded with oil money, announced it would give $1B to climate change initiatives over the next 5 years. The commitment represents a 50% swing in the portfolio’s allocation towards climate-related programs and comes on the heels of a $500 million donation to the Global Energy Alliance for People and the Planet, the largest gift in the foundation’s history.

Antarctica’s sea-ice levels are at an all-time low for mid-September according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center. A report published in Nature collected data showing current ice coverage is 930,000 square miles below normal September maximums. Authors go on to say the record lows could be irreversible and are likely due to warming ocean temperatures.

Humanitarian groups say $71.4M is needed to support Libya’s hardest-hit communities following a rare Mediterranean hurricane that some researchers claim was exacerbated by climate change. The storm killed at least 3,000 people and internally displaced 40,000 more in need of long-term assistance.

In an indicator that the company’s “Supplier Clean Energy Program”is paying off, 300 of Apple’s suppliers committed to using 100% clean energy in their operations. The initiative meant to reduce Scope 3 emissions makes up 90% of Apple’s manufacturing spend. The same day as the announcement, Apple dropped news of the upcoming carbon neutral Apple Watch, the first step in its plan to reach carbon-neutral across all products by 2030.

The DOE is shoveling $325M into nine long-duration storage projects to drop the cost of 10+ hour batteries by 90% in the next decade. The agency chose to fund a mix of startups and energy incumbents experimenting with various chemistries from Rejoule’s reusable lithium-ion EV packs to Form’s multi-day iron air arrays. Learn more about the tech behind these projects in our deep dive.

The mayor of New Orleans declared a state of emergency on Friday as saltwater creeping into the drought-stricken Mississippi River from the Gulf of Mexico threatens the drinking water for thousands of residents.

The US is building power lines faster, but it's still less than 10% of what is needed for a zero-carbon grid.


BNEF tells you how they really feel about clean hydrogen policy.

How often do you think about the Roman Empire’s concrete?

In Singapore, the urban landscape is becoming the urban climatescape

The business of ditching plastics.

One F1 track is fast-tracking its sustainable practices

An electric plane manufacturer lands its headquarters in the birthplace of aviation

Starbucks will pay you a dollar to make branding itself harder

Blasting plants with ancient enzymes to enhance climate resilience.

“I’ll take 2,000 rhinos, please. Hold the extinction.”

Watch Nick Offerman play a patch of cover cropped dirt.

Opportunities & Events:

🗓️ CIC Ask-Me-Anything with WattCarbon: Register to join Climate Investing Community’s AMA with the CEO of WattCarbon, a platform and marketplace funding decarbonization products, on Sept 26th.

🗓️ SOSV Climate Tech Summit: Join SOSV’s climate tech summit on Sept 26th to 27th to hear from top investors and founders in climate—featuring Kim moderating a panel on FOAK, Mark speaking on an analyst panel, and Sophie judging startups!

💡Carbon13 Venture Launchpad: Apply to Carbon13’s Venture Launchpad by Oct 16th to join a 20 week accelerator for carbon reduction and removal.

🗓️ Global Direct Air Capture Conference: Join Dr. Jennifer Wilcox and other industry experts at Columbia University on Oct 16th and 17th for knowledge-sharing and cross-sectoral discussions in this rapidly advancing field, hosted by the Direct Air Capture Coalition, Breakthrough Energy Ventures, Carbontech Development Initiative, and RMI.


Data Engineer @CTVC

Investment and Fund Partnerships Senior Associate @Third Derivative

Climate Impact Expert @World Fund

Sustainable Operations Graduate Intern @Nike

Vice President, EPC, Senior Associate, Technology @Reactivate

Project Manager, Policy Manager @EV Realty

Director of Innovation (Renewable Energy) @Elemental Excelerator

Director of Finance @RE-volv

Feel free to 📩 send us new ideas, recent fundings, events & opportunities, or general curiosities. Have a great week ahead!

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