🌎 ClimateHack Vol 2: Web3 x Climate

PLUS: Philanthropists commit $1bn to help our oceans and the latest data on climate and food isn't good

Hey ClimateHackers - overwhelmed by the reception of the first newsletter last week. Thanks for all of the feedback, links shared, email replies and referrals.

Happy to share that after publishing last week - we grew the subscriber count by 3x! If you like today’s edition - feel free to forward it to a friend.

What’s in today's edition?

🌊 Philanthropists commit $1bn to help our oceans🌡 The latest data on climate & food is not good👀 Q&A with a German Web3 x climate investor

Digest x Climate

📈 Whats up? A report by Climate Salad shows the Australian climate tech sector is already worth $4.2 billion and could bring in more than 2,000 new jobs in the next year.

📉 Whats down? New data shows that venture capital firms invested $9 billion into 273 climate tech startups in the first quarter of this year, which is $2.2 billion less than the $11.2 billion invested per quarter, on average, in 2021. Does this mean we’ve reached peak climate VC?

🌬 The US’s Supreme Court curtailed the federal government’s ability to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from power plants under the Clean Air Act, which could (will) significantly slow the transition to cleaner energy. About as progressive as their other decision this week.

Funds x Climate

🌊 Leonardo DiCaprio announced this week that a group of philanthropic organisations are committing $1 billion to help protect 30% of the ocean by 2030, through the Protecting our Planet Challenge.

💰 Berlin-based Green Generation Fund raised €100 million to support a portfolio of 20-25 alternative protein startups. It has invested in eight so far, including cultivated breastmilk company Biomilq and precision fermentation dairy producer Change Foods.

🇮🇱 The Israeli government has approved a NIS 3 billion (approximately $865k) innovation program for climate technology, with the aim of encouraging the local industry and giving Israel an advantage in a growing international market.

🌊 Lisbon-based venture capital firm Faber announced the first close of its oversubscribed ocean and climate-focused deeptech fund at €32 million. It plans to support 20-25 early-stage startups, and has already invested in German cleantech company Fuelsave, which offers retrofit energy solutions to a variety of sectors.

👀 +Here’s a handy list by Sifted, of 36 European climate tech leaders to follow on Twitter.

Transport x Climate

🚗 Volkswagen Group raised $450 million, including $100 million investment from Siemens, to accelerate its rollout of ultra-fast charging stations in the U.S. and Canada and help Electrify America toward its goal of more than doubling its footprint by 2026.

⛽️ Fleetzero secured $15.5 million to support its plans to convert cargo ships to battery-electric propulsion, replacing their diesel generator, to affordably decarbonise ocean freight.

Energy x Climate

🔋 US-based Zap Energy closed a $160 million Series C round and completed a successful test of a prototype nuclear fusion reactor that it could scale to a commercial version to offer low-cost, carbon-free energy.

💻 British startup Modo Energy secured €3.7 million pre-Series A funding for its data-driven platform, designed to help energy storage owners and operators more navigate markets and optimise energy use.

Food x Climate

🌡 New data shows that agricultural areas are among the places in the US experiencing the highest temperature increases through global warming, which will “affect everything from water to crops to insects”.

🍻 New Zealand-based Eddyline Brewery says it will be the first craft brewer in the country to capture and reuse carbon dioxide emissions in the production of its beer, having invested in US-based Earthly Labs’ CiCi® small scale carbon capture technology.

🚽 More beer news: Brewerkz, based in Singapore, is partnering with the city-state’s national water agency to brew beer made with recycled toilet water and promote sustainability.

☕️ Atomo, based in Seattle, raised $40 million Series A funding in a round led by S2G Ventures, AgFunder and Horizon Ventures to scale production of its beanless coffee, made from upcycled ingredients, which has significantly lower carbon impact than conventional coffee.

🥩 Germany-based Project Eaden came out of stealth with an €8 million raise to create the next gen of whole cut plant-based meat in a round led by CREANDUM. Project Eaden says its proprietary technology is a true gamechanger, designed to "reinvent plant-based meat from the fiber up".

Materials x Climate

🌿 AlgiKnit, based in Brooklyn, raised $13 million Series A funding for its sustainable yarn, made by extracting alginate from seaweed and combining it with renewable biopolymers.

🍄 Magical Mushroom Company, also in the UK, closed a €3.4 million seed round led by Ecovative Design. The startup combines agricultural waste with mycelium to create a biodegradable, durable, sustainable packaging alternative.

🚗 Netherlands-based Lightyear plans to begin production of its Lightyear 0 car, with solar panels mounted to the vehicle to recharge the electric battery, later this year.

Carbon x Climate

🏭 Carbon dioxide removal company Climeworks is building a second commercial-sized plant in Iceland to capture and store 36,000 metric tons per year of carbon dioxide, as part of its plan to remove millions of tons of CO2 per year by 2030, and 1 billion per year by 2050.

🇦🇹 Scientists at the Vienna University of Technology have developed a chemical process to convert CO2 to liquid methanol, which could replace methanol derived from fossil raw materials in many industries as well as helping with carbon emissions.

👟 Carbon transformation startup Twelve, whose technology converts captured CO2 into products historically made from fossil fuels, secured $130 million Series B funding. It’s already working with companies like Mercedes-Benz and Procter & Gamble, and plans to scale further.

🌳 San Francisco-based Vibrant Planet closed a $17 million seed funding round led by Ecosystem Integrity Fund and The Jeremy and Hannelore Grantham Environmental Trust, to support its OS for forest restoration, designed to restore forest resilience in at-risk forests across the world.

Conversations x Climate

Jonas Janssen is the Co-Head of Company Building and Lead Food-Tech Investments at Berlin's Apeiron Investment Group - we caught up to chat about what Web3 can do to help drive food/climate tech forward and what's exciting him today.

  • Biggest area(s) in Climate you’d like to see more founders working on and investment going to?

Two particular deep-technology areas that will help us transition into a carbon-free future:

1. Key base layer technology innovations 🔬 In particular exploration of novel and re-discovery of ancient strains that offer efficiency improvements that are significantly superior to the currently low number of standard strains used. Also, machine-learning based software that can help improve the currently manual and partly exhausting DSP which is silo-ed across ventures working towards shared goals.

2. Accelerate build-out of critical infrastructure for animal-free food product mass production 🏭 (in particular for fermentation-based as well as cell-cultured products); the recently started ventures in the space (like Switzerlands Planetray Group) we see as a fantastic signal but massive white space opportunity is still left to be worked on.

    • What’s the pitch for Web3 and its role in reversing Climate change? 

    To put it simply, decentralization and distribution are two of the key building blocks of web3. Communities through web3 technologies now have the ability to drive large-scale action from the ground up, independent of central institutions.

    Phrased differently, global communities can be formed that can take action independent of geographical, cultural or fiscal barriers. We do not need to wait for governments to drive climate policies that we desperately need TODAY!!

    One specific example for that are decentralized credit protocols built on the blockchain that can enable the issuance of undercollateralized loans. Through that, communities can help to finance large-scale bioreactors and fermentation infrastructure to drive our transition to an animal-free food system that currently, most VCs or governments are reluctant to finance.

    💡 Jonas wrote a great more in-depth article on Web 3 x Climate - read that here

    Memes: We're fun at parties. Source.

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    Until next time 👋

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