The Brief | September 11, 2018

Commitments to climate action, tech solutions to labor abuse, state opportunity zone incentives, lean impact

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Organizers seek to turn commitments into capital at Global Climate Action Summit. Hundreds of institutional investors with tens of trillions of dollars are pushing hard for climate-risk accounting from their portfolio companies and fund managers. Major banks have pledged to deploy hundreds of billions to finance low-carbon energy projects. Such “commitments” are the coin of the realm at the Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco this week. But the question remains: Where is the money? Even as pension and sovereign wealth funds, big banks and corporations make new commitments to climate action this week, experts warn the deployment of capital is falling far short of what’s needed to finance the low-carbon transition.

New signatories are expected this week for “The Investor Agenda,” which commits asset owners not only to investments, but to climate-risk disclosure from fund and corporate managers. Presidents of 20 foundations will join forces to protect trees and forests, the destruction of which is a major source of carbon emissions. Cities and states are committing to “America’s Pledge,” led by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and California Gov. Jerry Brown, who is convening the summit. “We’re running out of time,” said Brown, who leaves office next year.

Keep reading, “Organizers seek to turn commitments into capital at Global Climate Action Summit,” by David Bank on ImpactAlpha.

Dealflow: Follow the Money

Working Capital fund raises $25 million for tech solutions to labor abuse. Humanity United, a non-profit unit of the Omidyar Group, launched Working Capital in January to invest in early-stage technology companies fighting human trafficking, inhumane labor conditions, and other abusive supply-chain practices. New pledges of $2.5 million from European e-commerce company Zalando and the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation bring the fund’s final close to $25.2 million. Here’s more.

Washington D.C. to launch inclusive entrepreneurship fund. The District is partnering with the Marathon Foundation, a local philanthropy, in an investment fund for the city’s diverse and underserved entrepreneurs. The planned D.C. Inclusive Innovation Fund, an initiative of Mayor Muriel Bowser, will be seeded with $1.5 million in city funds. Read on.

Signals: Ahead of the Curve

States start to roll out local opportunity zone incentives. Legislation proposed in Ohio would provide a 10% state tax credit on investments greater than $250,000 in qualified Ohio opportunity funds. The federal opportunity zone tax benefit allows investors to defer and partially eliminate taxes on capital gains invested in business and property in designated low-income neighborhoods. A third of U.S. states are actively considering opportunity zone incentives.

  • Your opportunity zones newsfeed. Bookmark ImpactAlpha’s opportunity zone coverage or find it at > Themes > Inclusive Economy > Opportunity Zones.

Agents of Impact: Follow the Talent

Ann Mei Chang, formerly USAID’s chief innovation officer, is out with Lean Impact, a handbook on scaling social impact… Vox Capital and Avante in Brazil, Future Superannuation Group and Community Sector Banking in Australia, and Virginia Community Capital and Zevin Asset Management in the U.S. all made B Lab’s 2018 list of 203 “Best For The World: Changemakers”… Patrice Schneider of the Media Development Investment Fund will join “Fake news and society – What role can wealth play?” a Philanthropy Impact event in London this evening at 5pm GMT.

September 11, 2018.