🗣 Split screen. Covering the climate beat means holding opposing storylines in your head (and occasionally curling up into a fetal position). On the one hand, seven years after the Paris climate agreement, “the path has narrowed” to meet the goal of keeping global warming to 1.5 °C, a key tipping point, according to the latest Net Zero Roadmap from the International Energy Agency. Funding to help vulnerable countries green their economies and adapt to a changing climate remains woefully inadequate. On the other, there has never been more innovation, capital and policy focused on climate solutions. The deadline-driven exponential-breakthrough narrative was on full display at Climate Week NYC and this week’s Deploy23 conference, hosted by the US Department of Energy’s Loan Programs Office. “We’re fired up and thinking about how we can move faster,” Tim Hade of Scale Microgrids told me. The loan office, flush with $400 billion to catalyze the deployment of climate solutions, made a $3 billion loan guarantee to Sunnova Energy to bring “virtual power plants” to disadvantaged communities.
The Week's Call and Podcast
🎙️ Call Recap: Labor and capital align in new movement for worker ownership. It’s the age-old struggle: labor vs capital, workers vs. owners. But what happens when employees get a stake in the companies they work for? The evidence suggests motivation, retention and productivity all improve. Now investors are getting on board, seeking the worker ownership edge in buyout funds that finance company conversions to employee ownership (for background, see, “Financing transitions to employee ownership delivers wins for workers – and investors”). This week’s Agents of Impact Call featured investors who are betting that worker ownership is not only good for labor, it’s good for capital, too. The highlights:
The Week's Dealflow
Agrifood investing. Complete Farmer scored $10 million to connect Ghana’s smallholder farmers to funders… Impact investment fund Cuna del Mar backed LocalCoho, an Auburn, NY-based indoor salmon farming venture that supplies fish to high-end restaurants… Kern Tec snagged $12.8 million to make dairy alternatives from upcycled produce… Scottish seaweed grower and processor Oceanium raised $2.6 million from Builders Vision, the World Wildlife Fund and other investors… StretchDollar secured $1.6 million in pre-seed funding to help small companies in the US set up healthcare plan stipends for their employees.
The Week's Talent
JUST Capitalpromoted chief strategy officer Alison Omens to president… Anne Cushing, ex- of ACMC, joined BlueHub Capital as senior vice president of marketing and engagement… Generation Investment Management’s Just Climate namedEduardo Mufarej, ex- of Good Karma Ventures, co-chief investment officer at and head of the firm’s newly launched natural climate solutions.
The Week's Jobs
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