November 10, 2022
Photo: Ahmad Gharabli/AFP via Getty Images
Happy Thursday! We have a double dose of COP27 news from some guy named Al Gore and another guy named John Kerry. Today, we’re talking about what Gore’s new data tool and Kerry’s new carbon market vision mean for Big Tech. Read on!
People go to United Nations climate talks with all sorts of goals. Announcing new initiatives, protesting inaction, taking a selfie with Secretary-General António Guterres.
For Al Gore, it’s giving negotiators an independent, global inventory of greenhouse gas emissions, down to the individual facility. He delivered just that: The Climate TRACE coalition, of which Gore is a founding member, just released the world’s most detailed inventory of greenhouse gas emissions.
Granular data could unlock major climate gains in an era of gridlock. Gore told Protocol that he has “no doubt” that the database “will be put to a lot of use in negotiations.” That’s because it shows where polluters are.
The data shows where the super polluters are. That could be used to hold them accountable.
Tech companies looking to clean up their supply chains have a powerful tool. Climate negotiators aren’t the only ones who could benefit from the inventory as they haggle over an agreement. Many tech companies have promised to decarbonize their supply chains.
Get the full story here.
— Michelle Ma
Al Gore isn’t the only one on a mission at COP27. Climate Envoy John Kerry is there. But while Gore is looking to arm negotiators with data, Kerry is there to, among other things, announce a plan for a new carbon market. Offsets are one of Big Tech’s big climate indulgences, but it remains to be seen if the new scheme will add any value.
The new carbon market promises to be more robust than the old ones. The plan, dubbed the Energy Transition Accelerator, was announced in partnership with the Bezos Earth Fund and the Rockefeller Foundation.
Promises don’t make perfect, though. Carbon credit programs have been criticized historically for a multitude of reasons, ranging from being used to greenwash corporations to being an ineffective way of achieving emissions reductions.
There are still a lot of details to be hammered out, but Kerry announced a few safeguards to try to quell skepticism, including that fossil fuel companies would not be allowed to participate in the program. Some tech companies, including Microsoft, have already expressed interest in participating pending said rule-hammering.
Read the full story here.
— Michelle Ma
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French EV battery manufacturer Verkor raised $248 million to fund an R&D lab for designing high-performance batteries.
Chinese company Hebei Kuntian New Energy, which produces anode materials for lithium-ion batteries, raised $137.4 million to expand its production capacity.
Supply chain visibility platform project44 just announced an $80 million funding round led by Generation Investment Management.
Phosphate fertilizer company Ostara raised $70 million in its series C round, which the startup will use to complete the construction of its St. Louis manufacturing facility.
German EV charging company the Mobility House announced a roughly $50 million series C round co-led by Mercuria, Ventura Capital, and Green Gateway Fund.
EV charging startup Xeal has raised a $40 million series B round led by Keyframe Capital. Funds will be used to accelerate the deployment of EV charging stations, among other things.
Building energy management software startup Runwise announced $19 million in series A funding led by Fifth Wall, with the money going toward expanding into utilities outside of heating including water, as well as expanding outside of the U.S.
Los Angeles-based AMP, an energy management platform for e-mobility, raised a $17.25 million series A round.
EV stocks took a wild ride. Tesla, Rivian, and Lucid all saw their stock prices drop on Wednesday following not-so-great earnings reports (though Rivian’s rebounded).
The U.K. joins the battery race. The site for the U.K.’s first large-scale lithium refinery has been chosen, setting into motion the construction of a $687 million project.
Solar justice is real. While rooftop solar is still largely being installed by wealthy households, low- and middle-income ones are increasingly harnessing the sun.
Breaking: Climate change threatens cool and good things. “The things Americans value most are at risk,” according to a draft of a major report set to come out next year.
New Yorkers voted for climate. State voters approved $4.2 billion in climate spending to protect the state from increasingly extreme weather.
Seagrass meadows could save us. Researchers are aiming to map the Indian Ocean’s seagrass, which can be a powerful carbon sink.
Security tools should accelerate technology adoption. But often, the tools actually disrupt and slow down forward movement. With Okta tools, organizations have the compliance and security protection to grow while still protecting themselves from risk.
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