Two technicians emerge at the top of a wind turbine with other turbines in the background.
Photo: Jan Woitas/picture alliance/Getty Images

Tech workers have a new opportunity to join the climate fight

Protocol Climate

Happy Tuesday! Today, we’re looking at a new “draft” for tech workers looking to help climate startups and Uber’s new carbon dashboard for businesses. Your Protocol Climate team is also running around for Climate Week in New York. (Please send snacks.) We’ll have a vibe check in Thursday’s newsletter. Stay tuned and, in the meantime, read on!

Recruiting the next tech climate warriors

Climate tech startups are in growth mode, with record amounts being invested in sectors like carbon removal. What the industry is missing is talent, according to Jonathan Strauss.

That’s where Climate Draft steps in. “We’ve created this pool of awesome people who have all raised their hands, self-selected and said, ‘I care about climate,’” Strauss, its CEO and co-founder, told Protocol.

Today, it’s announcing a “draft” for tech talent to battle the climate crisis. Companies are looking to conscript would-be climate warriors as advisers, angel investors, customers, partners or hires in some cases.

  • Beginning today, anyone can create a profile on Climate Draft’s website and be visible to member companies.
  • Those companies, which sponsor Climate Draft’s free programming, include climate tech firms Charm Industrial, Crusoe Energy, Patch, Arcadia and Living Carbon, as well as VC firms like Lowercarbon Capital and MCJ Collective. (Lowercarbon’s Chris Sacca, along with his wife Crystal Sacca, is an investor in Climate Draft.)

The organization’s first “draft” last year was a massive success. It was a closed draft that connected an invite-only roster of draftees with fast-growing climate tech startups eager for their expertise.

  • Originally the cohort included 50 draftees, all high-level tech executives with an interest in climate. But it quickly grew.
  • Strauss said the inaugural draft expanded to a network of about 140 companies, 30 venture capital firms and 200 senior leaders from tech giants like Google, Apple and Meta. More than 1,000 would-be draftees ended up on the waitlist.
  • The first round resulted in at least a dozen full-time hires and over 800 double-opt-in intros. The star-studded roster of draftees included former Facebook CTO Mike Schroepfer, who made at least two angel investments in companies he connected with through the draft.

Climate Draft isn’t done yet. The group’s next draft, targeting software engineers, is starting next month. Anyone with a software engineering background can apply to take part.

“It’s staggering how much has to be built and rebuilt to hit the climate targets that we need to hit, even just within carbon removal,” said Peter Reinhardt, CEO and co-founder of Charm, a bio oil-based carbon removal company. Charm recruited its head of market development and policy, Nora Cohen Brown, from last year’s draft.

“Things like Climate Draft that help people transition into a brand-new industry are really important,” he said.

Read the full story.

Michelle Ma

Uber offers businesses new emissions insights

The only way to reduce a company’s climate toll is to first measure it. On Monday, Uber rolled out updates that will allow the many businesses that rely on the ride-hailing giant for employee transport more tools to do just that.

The Uber for Business dashboard now features information to help corporate clients “track, report and act on their ground transportation impacts globally,” Susan Anderson, global head of the company’s business division, shared exclusively with Protocol.

Companies can track ground transportation emissions in a new way. When it comes to cutting emissions — and, frankly, to a lot of other endeavors — knowledge is power. And the 170,000 companies that use Uber for Business are about to learn a lot.

  • The update offers clients information on how many low-emissions rides employees have taken, as well as the company’s total emissions across all rides and the average grams of carbon dioxide emitted per mile.
  • That means everything from trips to and from events to work travel will now be at Uber for Business users’ fingertips.
  • Ground transport represents an emissions blind spot for much of the corporate world. According to a June survey commissioned by Uber for Business and the Global Business Travel Association, just 28% of corporate travel managers based in the U.S. and Canada said their company formally tracks the “sustainability efforts” related to ground transportation.

Feedback from the update’s trial run has been good. Salesforce is among the Uber clients that have had access to the platform since early September. Global head of sustainability Patrick Flynn said the company already plans to use the platform’s insights to incentivize its employees to use low-emissions Uber options.

  • Salesforce links executive pay to meeting ESG goals such as reducing air travel emissions, and is already using its own internal booking tool to recommend lowest-emissions modes of travel for journeys across state lines rather than ones across town.

This comes as Uber tries to hold itself to its own ambitious climate goals. Uber has committed to being a zero-emissions ride platform globally by 2040, and to offering rides exclusively in electric vehicles in cities across the U.S., Canada and Europe by 2030.

  • Anderson said expanding clients’ use of its low-emissions ride features is “very much an objective” of offering them information on their emissions.
  • In recent years, Uber has begun expanding its slate of no- and low-emissions offerings, from Uber Green (rides in EVs and hybrids) to Comfort Electric (premium EVs like Teslas and Polestars), though access still varies widely by city.

It’s still a bit of a bumpy road to being a zero-emissions ride-hailing company. But the new Uber for Business tools will at least offer a way for companies that rely on the service to cut their emissions. Assuming they use it, of course.

Read the full story.

Lisa Martine Jenkins


Today’s inflation crisis is driving up the costs of commodities, food and energy at rates not seen in decades. Businesses must lead in this moment, and can do so most immediately through energy efficiency – aligning with climate commitments while delivering immediate returns and alleviating pressure on citizens and consumers everywhere.

Learn more

Coming soon

UNGA 2022 and the climate tech forecast: Protocol Climate editor Brian Kahn will hold a panel discussion with climate policy leaders, experts and tech executives to recap the biggest developments at UNGA 2022 and preview the trends and events that will shape the future of climate tech and the planet. RSVP here.

One big number: 43%

Tech companies have a new incentive to get serious about their climate plans (aside from the whole “not frying the climate”). Roughly 43% of tech workers say a company’s environmental impact is a “very important” factor when considering a new job, according to data from Morning Consult. This is significantly more than the 30% of the general population that said the same, indicating that tech workers weigh a company’s environmental impact more heavily — and potentially indicating that emissions cuts by the tech industry could double as a recruitment tactic.

Only work-life balance elicited a larger gap between the share of tech workers who said it is “very important” when considering a new job (72%) and that of the general population (58%). The survey defined tech workers as those working as developers, software engineers, database administrators and project managers. There are a few caveats, as with any polling. The tech workers sample comprises 131 people, meaning the results come with a large margin of error. And greater portions of both tech workers and the general public said things like salary, benefits or company culture matter more than a company’s climate bonafides.

— Lisa Martine Jenkins

Hot links

Puerto Rico is once again on the front lines of climate disaster. Hurricane Fiona took out the island’s electric grid. Like with Hurricane Maria, rooftop solar has played a key role in keeping the lights on for some as private utility LUMA looks to restore power.

There’s a new database to fuel your existential dread. The Global Registry of Fossil Fuels is a first-of-its-kind database showing the majority of the world’s fossil fuel production, reserves and the resulting carbon pollution.

The battery revolution could dry out the Andes. It can take up to half a million gallons of water to extract one ton of lithium in South America's Lithium Triangle. That’s an unsustainable equation.

EVs could be the grid’s saving grace. They are essentially enormous batteries, and with bidirectional charging they can buttress the power grid when demand spikes, like it did during the recent West Coast heat wave.

Human composting comes to California. Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a suite of climate and environment bills, including one that will let you lay yourself to rest organically starting in 2027. It’ll be sure to provide a boost to the rapidly expanding green death tech industry.


Today’s inflation crisis is driving up the costs of commodities, food and energy at rates not seen in decades. Businesses must lead in this moment, and can do so most immediately through energy efficiency – aligning with climate commitments while delivering immediate returns and alleviating pressure on citizens and consumers everywhere.

Learn more

Thanks for reading! As ever, you can send any and all feedback to See you Thursday!

Recent Issues