🌎 Flipping the climate script at Davos #134

EU chases US’ IRA lead on climate policy

Happy Monday!

With Davos in full swing, we break down all the ways the EU is trying to move past internecine strife and abiding war on the continent to try to shuffle back into a leading position on climate vs the US’s IRA adjusted come-up.

In deals this week, $100m for food waste to feed, $73m for electric yard trucks, $50m for lithium extraction, and $40m for electric cement production. At the top of this week’s news, a new PPPP climate philanthropic giving initiative, a banging CDR report from Oxford, and pretty posters from the DOE.

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Davos prompts Europe to play climate catch up

Passage of the $369b Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) has flipped the script and left Europe scrambling to catch up to the US’ new climate policy lead. To a backdrop of 116 billionaires and mere flurries of snow, the transatlantic argument took center stage at the World Economic Forum’s annual Davos meeting.

European lawmakers from the EU President to leaders of France and Germany have called for Europe-wide and country-specific industrial bills to compete with IRA subsidies - driven by pressure from European businesses who fear falling behind the US’ wake.

😤 Protectionism? The EU, South Korea, Canada, and the UK claim that the IRA disobeys World Trade Organization stipulations by supporting US domestic production. Case and point, a $7,500 subsidy for EVs produced/assembled in North America.

😬 It’s a party! Lest business up and move to the States, Europe needs to keep industry attractive with similar offers and incentives – demonstrating the US now has the climate bully pulpit. Case and point, Europe wants to improve subsidies for raw materials refining to limit its 98% dependence on China for rare Earth elements.

We’ve written before about how “climate security is national security” with the US’ climate tech crosshairs trained on the open threats of Russia and The PRC. More subtly, the new Modern Industrial Strategy of policies like the IRA move the entire elbow of the free market hand to outcompete even allies in the climate technology supply race.

Ultimately, a climate tech industrial arms race is a win for all as the world moves together towards preventing a 1.5 °C warming scenario. Though the conversation at Davos is likely just the start of EU business calling on political leadership to step up to challenge the US’ latest geopolitical power play.


Deals of the Week (1/16-1/22)

🛵 ONE MOTO, a London, UK-based provider of last-mile delivery EVs, raised $150m in Growth funding.

🍎 Mill, a San Bruno, CA-based startup developing a novel food waste kitchen bin, raised $100m in funding from Breakthrough Energy Ventures, Prelude Ventures, Energy Impact Partners, John Doerr, GV, and Lowercarbon Capital.

🚗 Outrider, a Golden, CO-based maker of autonomous electric yard trucks, raised $73m in Series C funding from Fraser McCombs Capital, ROBO Global, Presidio Ventures, NVentures, Abu Dhabi Growth Fund, B37 Ventures, Lineage Logistics, Koch Disruptive Technologies, and New Enterprise Associates.

⚒️ Summit Nanotech, a Calgary, Canada-based direct lithium extraction startup, raised $50m in Series A funding from BDC Capital, Capricorn Investment Group, Evok Innovations, Grantham Environmental Trust, Helios Climate Ventures, NGP Capital, Volta Energy Technologies, and Xora Innovation.

🏗️ Sublime Systems, a Somerville, MA-based electrifying cement production, raised $40m in Series A funding from Energy Impact Partners, Lowercarbon Capital, Siam Cement Group, and The Engine.

🧪 BioElements, a Santiago, Chile-based bioplastics for packaging, raised $30m in Series A funding from BTG Pactual.

🌾 EarthOptics, an Arlington, VA-based soil sensing company, raised $28m in Series B funding from CHS Capital LLC, CNH Industrial, Conti Ventures, Cooperative Ventures, Louis Dreyfus, and Rabobank Food & Agri Innovation Fund.

💨 Living Carbon, a San Francisco, CA-based company developing photosynthesis-enhanced trees, raised $21m in Series A funding from Felicis Ventures, Lowercarbon Capital, Temasek Holdings, and Toyota Ventures.

👕 Fairbrics, a Clichy, France-based startup making carbon-neutral fabrics, raised $18m in Series A funding from Horizon 2020.

🚗 Forum Mobility, an Oakland, CA-based startup electrifying drayage fleets, raised $15m in Series A funding from CBRE Group, Amazon Climate Pledge Fund, Homecoming Capital, Obvious Ventures, Edison International, Overture VC, and Elemental Excelerator. (We dove into drayage with CEO Matt Laducq here).

☀️ SunRoof, a Stockholm, Sweden-based solar roof manufacturer, raised $15m in Series A funding from Legal & General Capital, Nordic Alpha Partners, and World Fund.

💨 Captura, a Pasadena, CA-based ocean-based carbon removal company, raised $12m in Series A funding from Caltech, Equinor Ventures, Future Planet Capital, and Hitachi.

🏠 Axiom Cloud, an East Bay, CA-based provider of AI solutions for commercial refrigeration, raised $7m in Series A funding from Artifact Capital, Blue Bear Capital, Frontier Venture Capital, Leadout Capital, Momenta, Powerhouse Ventures, Ulu Ventures, and Vela Partners.

🥩 Multus, a London, UK-based cellular agriculture manufacturing platform, raised $7m in Series A funding from Asahi Kasei, Big Idea Ventures, Mandi Ventures, SOSV, and SynBioVen.

💧 Membrion, a Seattle, Washington-based developer of ceramic desalination membranes, raised $7m in Series B funding from Freeflow Ventures, GiantLeap Capital, PureTerra Ventures, and Safar Partners.

🌾 Bloomfield Robotics, a Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania-based AI-based inspection agriculture robotics platform, raised $4m in Series A funding from KUBOTA Corporation. and Oeneo SA.

💸 Grünfin, a Tallinn, Estonia-based sustainable investing platform, raised $2m in Seed funding from Alvar Lumberg, Honey Badger Capital OÜ, Lemonade Stand, Norrsken VC, Sie Ventures, Specialist VC, and Triin Hertmann.

💨 Algiecel, an Odense, Denmark-based developing algae-based carbon capture, raised $1m in Seed funding from Denmark’s Export and Investment Fund.

💨 InPlanet, a Munich, Germany-based enhanced rock weathering carbon removal company, raised $1m in Pre-Seed funding from Carbon Removal Partners, Übermorgen Ventures, Trellis Road, Katapult, and Carbon Drawdown Collective.

🌾 Eagle Genomics, a Cambridge, United Kingdom-based microbiome R&D sustainability platform, raised an undisclosed amount of funding from Omron Ventures.

☀️ Basis Climate, a New York, NY-based marketplace for buying and selling clean energy tax credits, raised an undisclosed amount of Pre-seed funding.

Exits & New Funds:

Volta, an EV-charger operator, was acquired by Shell for $169m, less than the $275m it raised from investors, and much less than the $2B valuation it SPAC’d at.

Nextracker, a Fremont, CA-based solar tracking manufacturer, filed for an IPO as it spins out from Flex.

Mineral, a sustainable agriculture data platform, spun out of Google X.

Salo Sciences, a San Francisco, CA-based climate data platform, was acquired by Planet.


In the News

India approved a plan of incentives worth more than $2b to develop a green hydrogen production capacity of 5m tonnes a year by 2030.  The government is also inviting bids for domestic green urea and phosphate plants, pushing efforts to nationalize climate tech development.

While conversation heated up at Davos, the EU unveiled plans for a new Green Deal Industrial Plan designed to “make Europe the home of clean tech and industrial innovation on the road to net zero.” The Net-Zero Industry Act aims to overcome China’s dominance of supplies for climate technologies, while introducing tax breaks and financial support “to counter relocation risks from foreign subsidies.”

WEF launched a new public, private and philanthropic partnership (PPPP) initiative “Giving to Amplify Earth Action” (GAEA) to tackle the climate crisis. The global initiative is supported by more than 45 partners including the Clean Air Fund, Climate Leadership Initiative, and ClimateWorks Foundation.

The U.S.’s six largest banks have until July to show the Federal Reserve how climate change could affect their finances, including heat waves, wildfires, floods, droughts, and their effects on residential and commercial real estate portfolios. First announced in September 2022, the exercise includes Bank of America, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, Morgan Stanley and Wells Fargo.

A coalition of American companies and nonprofit groups are aiming to install 30 GW of community solar by 2030, nearly 6x the 5.3 GW installed now. Currently, 22 states plus Washington, D.C. have created community-solar markets, benefitting from long-term incentives in the IRA’s tax credits. While 6 more states are considering community solar legislation, traditional net metering continues to come under scrutiny with the potential of hindering the deployment of community solar - as was the case in California.

The latest in the minerals sourcing race: The White House signed a memorandum of understanding with the Democratic Republic of Congo and Zambia to strengthen the EV battery value chain and ensure access to African cobalt and copper supplies currently dominated by Chinese investors.


Pop-up

Oxford dropped a comprehensive 114 page The State of Carbon Removal report finding a 30x-540x scale up gap between current deployment and Paris targets. Chock full of tasty charts, we double clicked on China’s 36% global patent lead and Twitter’s sentiment on CDR tech.

The DOE dropped new-deal decor for your living room. Print and hang DIY!

22% of rural American homes rely on wood as fuel. In New England, wood donation banks help people keep their homes warm amid sky-high heating fuel prices.

Trash to Table? Matt Roger’s new startup, Mill, takes your trash, and turns it into chicken feed. Podcast version here.

Sylvera strikes back at the Guardian claiming 90% carbon offsets are worthless.

Greta smiles as police carry her out of a protest against coal-expansion at a German site.

It's comically hard to talk to kids about climate change, but this print out might help.

The beer industry is hop-ed up on climate IP. Carlsberg patents resilient barley strains, and Fat Tire relaunches their core product with a climate-forward rebrand.

Microbial fertilizers get their time in the spotlight as the war in Ukraine causes synthetic fertilizer prices to soar.

One FT reader wants more scientists on MBA Yacht Week.

97% of the 2,016 executives in a new Deloitte survey expect climate change to impact their companies' strategy and operations over the next three years.

A curious seal and a robot helped discover a climate change disaster that could lead to 15 ft of sea level rise.


Opportunities & Events:

🗓️ Climate Career Week: From Jan 23rd - 27th tech workers can virtually explore various career opportunities in climate. Organized by Climate Draft, Terra.do, MCJ Collective, and Work on Climate. Also features 1:1 climate career office hours, local community meetups, and various career resources.

🗓️ Lowercarbon Happy Hour: Join Lowercarbon Capital and Ramen Mafia on Feb 1st for a climate tech happy hour for startup founders and operators. Apply for an invite.

🗓️ Financing the Green Revolution: Register for a virtual event on Feb 2nd, where Shuo Yang, a partner at Lowercarbon Capital will give insight into maximizing impact and returns within climate tech.

💡OnePointFive Academy: Apply to OnePointFive Academy’s 6 week sustainability consulting accelerator, designed and led by world-class experts. Early bird applications close Feb 3rd, and all applications close Feb 17th.

💡RESPOND Accelerator: Apply to the RESPOND Accelerator, a 6 month international startup accelerator program for entrepreneurs looking to develop sustainable businesses by Feb 6th.

💡Climate Investment Challenge: Apply by March 3rd to participate in a pitching competition for postgrad/PhD students using finance to address the climate crisis.


Jobs

Intern - Renewable Energy @Dandelion Energy

Marketing Lead @Canopy

Backend Software Engineer @Singularity Energy

Business Development Manager @AeroShield

Grants Manager @ZEVV

Engineering Intern @Raptor Maps

Senior VP of Partnerships @Greentown Labs

Manager, Incentives @Forum Mobility

Finance Associate @Forum Mobility

Marketing and Communications Leader @Isometric


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

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