climate

Amazon commits $53M to women-led, climate tech firms, incubators

Amazon is allocating $50 million from its Climate Pledge Fund — Amazon’s venture capital program that invests in companies pioneering decarbonizing technologies and solutions — to invest in women-founded and women-led climate tech companies, as well as incubators and accelerators that prioritize women-led entities.

California proposes billions for climate initiatives, additional money for innovation programs

Earlier this month, California Gov. Gavin Newsom released his proposed FY 2022-2023 budget, which he said “reinforces our role as the global leader in climate protection, innovation and job creation.” The budget focuses on new investments and “positions the state as a global leader in innovation and solutions to both mitigate and adapt to the changing climate.” The proposal includes billions in one-time funding from various sources over five years to advance the state’s climate and opportunity budget and provide equitable climate solutions. Additional money is proposed for innovation hubs, clean energy and more.

US National Climate Assessment underway, input sought

Since 1990, the United States has produced its own national climate assessment report to, in the words of the project’s director Allison Crimmins, “provide Americans with information on the accelerating impacts, vulnerabilities and responses to the climate crisis.” Work on the fifth assessment is well underway and NOAA has made available for public comment annotated outlines of each of the 32 chapters included in the draft report.  In addition to the public comments on the report, there are a series of open workshops daily over the next several weeks to allow the public to engage more actively in the process. The list of topics and schedule of times are available here.

More than $1B in new state and local initiatives for clean energy announced

New York City and the state of Illinois have both made moves recently to shift more of their economies to clean energy. Mayor Bill de Blasio and the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) announced a 15-year, $191 million Offshore Wind Vision (OSW) plan to make New York City a leading destination for the offshore wind industry.  Last month, Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed sweeping legislation offering new incentives for the adoption of clean energy and aim to move it to 100 percent clean energy by 2050. And Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker is looking to use American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) money to establish a clean energy investment fund.

House committee creates plan for net zero emissions

The majority staff of the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis released a “roadmap” this week for the U.S. to achieve net zero emissions by 2050 and net negative emissions through the rest of the century. The plan says these climate goals can be achieved while growing the economy and improving public health. In the area of climate and manufacturing, the committee proposes supporting the building or retrofitting of facilities, creating domestic markets for low-emissions goods, and developing new supply chains in cleantech industries. For innovation, the committee’s proposals include facilitating technology transfer through regional partnerships and a Department of Energy foundation, financing decarbonization technologies, and engaging environmental justice groups in R&D priorities.

Startup competitions target the circular economy

The circular economy, a phrase meant to redefine economic growth beyond the current “take-make-waste” extractive industrial model, is gaining attention around the world as a way to produce more positive environmental and social benefits. Over the past few months, three cities have announced efforts to promote circular economy startups. In New York City, a contest will offer a $500,000 prize to the best idea and business plan that seeks to repurpose the city’s recyclables and manufacture a product to sell to the local market. The City of Phoenix and Arizona State University announced four companies will participate in an incubator affiliated with the Resource Innovation and Solutions Network (RISN). Last fall, public sector partners and the university-based Austin Technology Incubator (ATI) collaborated to launch a new Circular Economy Incubator in the region.

Entrepreneurs invited to pitch clean energy ideas

Startup innovators from around the country have the opportunity to exhibit their ideas and win $10,000 during the Catalysts of the Climate Economy national innovation summit in Burlington, Vermont, Sept. 6-8. Innovators in the climate economy are encouraged to enter a contest that will result in five competitors pitching their ideas to a panel of judges, with the winning idea garnering the top prize. Entries for Round 1 of the competition – where innovators tweet their formula/idea on improving the climate economy – must be received by July 30th. A select number of entries will be invited to present their ideas during the conference, where all attendees will vote on the top five startup ideas. Produced by the Vermont Council on Rural Development, the conference will bring together participants in the climate economy to explore the next stage of economic development in a low-carbon future.

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