ImpactAlpha Open | March 26, 2024

ImpactAlpha Open: De-risking The Great Deployment + clean cooking’s carbon credits

Dennis Price

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ImpactAlpha Editor

Dennis Price

Greetings, Agents of Impact! Welcome to the latest ImpactAlpha Open, a free weekly newsletter on the news, deals and people powering impact investing and sustainable finance.

 Launching Deploy! With a flurry of articles and a well-attended Agents of Impact CallImpactAlpha stood up Deploy!, a dedicated beat at the intersection of community infrastructure and climate justice.

🗣️ The next ImpactAlpha Latin America newsletter is out tomorrow, Mar. 27th. Sign up here to get it in your inbox:

In this week’s Open:

  • De-risking The Great Deployment
  • Proxy season preview
  • The return of ImpactAlpha’s podcasts
  • Second life for clean energy assets

Ok, let’s jump in. – Dennis Price

Must-reads on ImpactAlpha

  • Cleveland’s “all of community” approach to climate. Over the course of a year, dozens of Cleveland stakeholders incubated and launched one of the nation’s first Black-led green banks. The Go Green Energy Fund is vying to manage key pieces of the $27 billion federal Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund. The “all of community” approach in northeast Ohio puts local stakeholders in charge of a just transition, reports Amy CorteseRead more.
  • Deploy! At scale! Contributing editor Rachel Reilly explains how local lenders are getting ready for the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund money with standardized financial products that can be deployed in communities across the nation. Tap in.
  • Clean cooking with carbon credits. Koko FuelBURN ManufacturingBboxx and other companies delivering clean cooking products for families in Africa and elsewhere have found a reliable source of capital in the voluntary carbon markets, reports Jessica PotheringGo deeper.
  • Power to the proxy. In the upcoming proxy voting season, shareholders may get their say on the risks including artificial intelligence, biodiversity loss and even deep-sea mining, reports Louie WoodallCheck it out.
  • Anti-ESG, anti-market. “Sustainability opponents do not support market-based decisions, but crony capitalism,” Sinclair Capital’s Jon Lukomnik said in a speech to the International Corporate Governance Network this month. “Now is the time to speak more truth” to such power. Read the speech.
  • Texas boots Blackrock. Texas officials have rescinded Blackrock’s financial management of $8.5 billion in Texas’ assets, citing a Texas law that prohibits state investment in companies that “boycott” energy companies. Texas’ anti-ESG rules are costing the state hundreds of millions in lost economic activity, jobs and revenues, reports Andrea RiquierDig in.

Agents of Impact

🏃🏾‍♀️ People on the move

  • World Education Services promoted Smitha Das to investments senior director.
  • Danish development finance institution IFU reappointed Lars Korgsgaard as its chief investment officer. Korgsgaard served a three-year term as IFU’s CIO from 2019 to 2022.
  • Tariye Gbadegesin, a former investment committee member of Climate Policy Initiative’s Catalytic Climate Finance Facility, became CEO of Climate Investment Funds.

The Week’s Call

☎️ The Call: De-risking The Great Deployment (video)

The US Environmental Protection Agency is getting ready to announce the winners of hotly anticipated “national green bank” funding that will channel billions of dollars through local community lenders to finance green projects. ImpactAlpha’s Agents of Impact Call No. 60 explored the ways public funding is catalyzing a community-driven, equitable, green financial ecosystem – even before the money begins to flow. “This program is really focused on how to drive the [energy] transition and the benefits of clean technologies in low-income and disadvantaged communities,” Calvert Impact’s Beth Bafford explained on The Call.

The Week’s Podcasts

🎧 On the podcasts

Podcasts are back! On This Week in ImpactBrian Walsh dives into ImpactAlpha’s top stories, with commentary from editor David BankUp this week: Jessica Pothering’s story about how carbon credits are promoting clean cooking, even when carbon reductions are questionable. Plus, the cost of Texas’ ESG investing purge, and spoofing Vanguard’s climate (in)action. 

And in the first episode of our new Agents of Impact podcastSherrell Dorseyspeaks with Bright Ventures’ Lenore Champagne Beirne. Champagne Beirne, who founded Bright Ventures as a strategic advisory and executive coaching service, has added a fund for early-stage ventures.

  • Subscribe to ImpactAlpha’s podcasts on Apple or Spotify or wherever you listen – just search for ImpactAlpha Podcasts.

Short Signals: What We’re Reading

♻️ Batteries get a second life in Latin America. Second-life companies acquire used clean energy assets and redeploy them in environments with lower performance requirements. Mexico-based Butoni is developing second-life energy storage for regions prone to energy outages. The Inflation Reduction Act in the US is accelerating the replacement of clean energy assets; some of the old stuff is going to Latin America. (CREO)

💧 Water management solutions. Latin America’s population is forecast to reach 717 million by 2030. Brazilian waste management company EcoCircuito and Atlanta-based onsite hydro systems startup Emrgy are among the cleantech solutions addressing water treatment and management challenges in the region. (EHI Corp)

👷🏽 Startups plugging Europe’s green jobs gap. Berlin-based Smalt is upskilling and deploying workers for green energy installations. London-based Greenworkx’stalent portal recruits applicants and exposes them to green opportunities. Like a coding bootcamp, Paris-based La Solive trains workers in green skills. (Sifted)

🌿 Catalyzing nature-based solutions. The UK government’s Partnerships for Forests has  leveraged £112.5 million ($143 million) in private capital with £18.7 million in grants for land-use businesses and nature-based solutions in Brazil, Colombia and Peru, with a focus on gender inclusion. (Partnerships for Forests)

🏢 Tipping point for building decarbonization. Demand for low-carbon buildings is outstripping supply. The “growing need to show progress against carbon commitments will lead to price friction and a race for low-carbon buildings,” said JLL’s Guy Grainger. (Reuters)

⚡ Private vs. public climate funds. New public and private funds with climate-related names have surged in recent years. More than 40% of the net asset value in private funds comes from renewable electricity. Public climate funds are dominated by information technology. (MSCI)

Get in the Game

💼 Step up

  • Green Climate Fund is looking for a chief strategy and impact officer in Incheon, South Korea.
  • GingerBread Capital is hiring an investment associate for a remote position.
  • Dalberg is searching for a senior project manager who could be based in a number of major US cities.

Visit ImpactAlpha’s Career Hub for more impact investing jobs. Contact us for job posting rates.

🤝 Meet up

Don’t miss these ImpactAlpha partner events:

  • April 15-17: MO Summit (Austin)
  • May 1-2: Total Impact Summit (Philadelphia)
  • May 7-9: MIE National Conference (Los Angeles)

Subscribe to access substantial discounts on partner events.

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