Featured: Climate Week

The sky-high value of cutting methane emissions is attracting policymakers – and investors. Carbon dioxide has gotten most of the attention in the fight against climate change. But it is another compound, methane, that is responsible for about half of the 1.1-degree-Celsius net rise in the global average temperature since the start of the pre-industrial era. Methane action is emerging as perhaps the most tangible and immediate way to curb global warming in the crucial decade ahead. Just this week, the U.S. and Europe launched a campaign to cut methane emissions by 30% by the end of the decade. U.S. lawmakers are considering a plan to assess a fee of $1,680 per ton for methane emissions. “If we have price signals in the market, we can have robust schemes and credits that allow folks to minimize and offset or neutralize their emissions, and most importantly we can price in the real costs of doing business,” said Stephan Nicoleau of FullCycle, an investment firm that focuses on technologies that mitigate short-lived climate pollutants, or SLCPs, including methane.

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Dealflow: Follow the Money

Big-name investors donate their stakes as Change.org converts to a nonprofit. The San Francisco-based company, which hosts more than 70,000 petition campaigns per month, secured equity donations from more than 50 shareholders and will be 100% owned by the nonprofit Change.org Foundation. “This secures the long-term stewardship of Change.org as a digital public utility committed to the public interest,” Change.org’s Ben Rattray, Nick Allardice and Preethi Herman wrote on Medium. More than 90% of investor equity was donated. The B Corp will redeem the remaining investor shares, and also pay off employee options at a valuation set through an appraisal. Rattray told ImpactAlpha the nonprofit conversion is aimed at entrenching Change.org’s social mission even more deeply than the company could as a public benefit corporation and a certified B Corp.

Impact Voices: Waste Management

Africa’s eco-startups seek to turn the tide on plastic pollution. Demand for plastic has soared in Africa. “When a problem is on your doorstep, it’s only natural to be compelled to find a solution,” Constance Agyeman of Nesta Challenges writes in a guest post. From co-operatives of individual litter-pickers, upcycling businesses that craft items out of plastics, and large-scale waste-management companies, the continent's entrepreneurs are finding innovative ways to combat Africa's plastics problem. What is needed to deliver change at the pace the continent needs, argues Agyeman, is “commitment from the innovation community and investors to grow and scale.” Given the proportion of women involved in the plastics-recycling value chain, investors would do well to direct funding toward women-led startups, she says.

Agents of Impact: Follow the Talent

ImpactAssets has promoted Sandra Osborne Kartt to managing director of investments, Nick Peters to director of investments, and Deb Parsons to managing director of business development… Hannah Schiff, ex- of Nuveen, joins Developing World Markets as director of impact… Josh Adeoye, ex- of University Teaching Hospital in Kano, Nigeria, joins Adjuvant Capital as an associate… Convergence has extended the deadlines for its Asia Natural Capital Design Funding Window (Oct. 29) and its Indo-Pacific Design Funding Window (Nov. 10).

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