ZERO #13 (climate finance + startups)

Climate tech glossary. Two more climate CEO interviews. Biden's climate team. Fear of white supremacy. Minority and women leadership in climate. Your favorite podcasts.

4 climate business headlines worth skimming.

Who’s Who on Biden’s Sprawling Climate Team (Bloomberg)

  • Kerry, McCarthy, Regan, and Granholm, on my! Check out the posse of diverse government leaders that Biden appointed to make climate a central challenge for his Administration. It’s refreshing to have a Secretary of Treasury in Janet Yellen who views climate change as an “existential threat” to the U.S. economy.

Larry Fink’s 2021 Letter to CEOs (BlackRock)

  • “From January through November 2020, investors in mutual funds and ETFs invested $288 billion globally in sustainable assets, a 96% increase over the whole of 2019.1 I believe that this is the beginning of a long but rapidly accelerating transition – one that will unfold over many years and reshape asset prices of every type. We know that climate risk is investment risk. But we also believe the climate transition presents a historic investment opportunity.”

  • “As you issue sustainability reports, we ask that your disclosures on talent strategy fully reflect your long-term plans to improve diversity, equity, and inclusion, as appropriate by region.”

Climate tech market glossary (Pitchbook)

  • From Pitchbook, a leader in private market investor intel: “Climate tech represents a sprawling, multi-trillion dollar opportunity encompassing energy, transportation, agriculture, buildings, industry, climate adaptation and materials and resources.”

  • So if you’re new to climate tech, this sector dictionary can get you sounding like all the cool kids in no time.

The case for buying climate tech from BIPOC and women-owned suppliers (Greenbiz)

  • Stopping carbon pollution alone will not bring climate justice. Reaching net-zero by 2050 will not either. Neither will achieving 100 percent renewable energy targets.”

  • “A 2019 study by the Solar Foundation and Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) found that among all senior executives reported by solar firms, 88% are white and 80% are men.”

  • Check out the list of almost 30 “Black-led companies, both small and midsize enterprises and startups, that are leading the low-carbon transition.” How can you support them, or other BIPOC-led businesses in this the historic low carbon transition?

  • Also included are two important resources: (1) a shared spreadsheet of US-based, VC-backed black founders and VC firms that invested in them, and (2) a list of Black-led companies that are leading the low-carbon transition

  • Shout out to Marilyn Waite — the author of this piece, climate and clean energy program officer at the Hewlett Foundation, and champion of diversity in climate finance.

2 Climate CEO interviews — Arcadia Power and Cross River

From the Entrepreneurs for Impact climate CEO series called THE TORCH, here are the latest and greatest. Check ‘em out.

The fear behind white supremacy.

We have two problems here that are interconnected:

  • “White supremacist extremists will remain the deadliest domestic terror threat to the United States.” — U.S. Department of Homeland Security

  • Systemic racism is real and the statistics are soul crushing.

So what’s the fear?

  • White supremacists fear that they are losing their way of life, traditions, jobs, and power.

  • Minorities fear for their actual lives. In addition, they face intense headwinds in reaching the American dream of financial prosperity.

So, which is an actual fear? And which is a perceived fear?

Consider some numbers:

  • The average Black worker earns about 62% compared to the average white worker.

  • The average Black household has 10% of the wealth of an average white household.

  • The gap between Black and white home ownership is as wide as it’s been since 1960.

  • Black men are almost 6x as likely to be imprisoned compared to white men.

For more data to make us all more aware, check out Business Insider’s list of 26 graphs here.

And if you want to test whether you have white privilege (and reminding you, like me, to use it for positive change), here’s a four-minute video. Over 3 million views.

Your favorite podcast?

I’m creating a list of great podcasts that climate CEOs and investors should read.

What are 1-2 podcasts that you would most recommend?

I’ll share this via a new blog post and give you a shout out for your recommendations that make the final cut.

Here are a few podcasts that I listen to:

** Drop me an email. **

Spread the word.

Big problems mean big opportunities.

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Keep on fightin’ the good fight.




Dr. Chris Wedding
Entrepreneurs for Impact
Masterminds for Climate CEOs and Investors:
CEO Roundtables. Peer-to-Peer Learning. Executive Coaching.
(919) 274-7988


P.S. — Here’s where the name “ZERO” comes from.

P.S.S. — At Entrepreneurs for Impact, we run a private, invite-only executive coaching Mastermind for climate CEOs and investors. Collectively catalyzing millions of dollars of value in low carbon sectors, it’s a hell of a group. If you want to learn more, check us out here.