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Climate-tech: how techies can make a difference in the fight against climate change

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Climate-tech: how techies can make a difference in the fight against climate change

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ABSTRACT: Climate change may be the most important challenge facing humanity within our lifetime. A growing number of tech start-ups are addressing this crisis, so-called climate-tech companies. In my talk, I will give an overview of the most important fields of work and the companies out to save the world. I will also give tips on how as a tech person you can get involved.

BIO: My name is Moritz Walther. I am a German / American fintech geek looking to make a difference in the world. I work as a Product Manager at ecolytiq, a Berlin-based climate-tech that calculates carbon footprints based on banking data.

ABSTRACT: Climate change may be the most important challenge facing humanity within our lifetime. A growing number of tech start-ups are addressing this crisis, so-called climate-tech companies. In my talk, I will give an overview of the most important fields of work and the companies out to save the world. I will also give tips on how as a tech person you can get involved.

BIO: My name is Moritz Walther. I am a German / American fintech geek looking to make a difference in the world. I work as a Product Manager at ecolytiq, a Berlin-based climate-tech that calculates carbon footprints based on banking data.

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Climate-tech: how techies can make a difference in the fight against climate change

  1. 1. An overview of ClimateTech How techies can make a difference
  2. 2. © by ecolytiq GmbH, all rights reserved – www.ecolytiq.com Introduction
  3. 3. Introduction Who am I? © by ecolytiq GmbH, all rights reserved – www.ecolytiq.com Moritz Walther Product Owner @ ecolytiq linkedin.com/in/moritz-walther/
  4. 4. ecoyltiq In a nutshell © by ecolytiq GmbH, all rights reserved – www.ecolytiq.com ecolytiq provides digital infrastructure for banks to drive climate action and act on their role in fighting climate change We calculate a consumer carbon footprint by analysing payment data Enable consumers to understand CO2 impact and reduce their footprint by living more sustainably or offsetting 7 live banks ~1m end users
  5. 5. © by ecolytiq GmbH, all rights reserved – www.ecolytiq.com Climate Change
  6. 6. Climate Change Why is it the most important issue facing us today? © by ecolytiq GmbH, all rights reserved – www.ecolytiq.com Reduced crop yields of 11,1% 20% more of the world exposed to tropic illnesses 17% of landmass faces annual extreme rainfalls 250,000 deaths attributable to effects of climate change per year 1,5° 2° 3°+ Between 800 million and 3 billion people globally exposed to chronic water scarcity Reduced crop yields of 14,8% 30% more of the world exposed to tropic illnesses 36% of landmass faces annual extreme rainfalls Between 1 and 4 billion face chronic water scarcity Global economic contraction of 18% with up to 50% in the worst hit areas 12% of population displaced (or threatened) by rising sea levels Reduced crop yields of 22,2% 29% of species face extinction 500% increased risk of exposure to extreme weather events Sources: IPCC; New York Times; Scientific American; World Health Organization
  7. 7. The Climate Emergency And why recycling isn’t going to cut it © by ecolytiq GmbH, all rights reserved – www.ecolytiq.com • Already between 1,1 and 1,3° warming has occured • Current policies put us on track for 2,7 degrees warming • Substantial gap on what governments have promised and what they have actually done, the action path puts us on track for 3,6° • For 1,5 degree scenarios emissions must peak by 2025 and we must achieve net-zero by 2050 • To reach 2025 goals emissions growth needs to be reduced 33% every year, instead emissions grew 6% over last year Sources: Carbon Action Tracker; Nature Journal
  8. 8. Where is it coming from Who is causing what problems? © by ecolytiq GmbH, all rights reserved – www.ecolytiq.com Making things • cement • steel • plastic • etc. Electricity Feeding ourselves agriculture plants animals Transportation planes trucks cargo ships cars Temperature regulation heating cooling refrigeration 31% 27% 19% 16% 7% 51 Bn tonnes of GHGs added to the atmosphere each year Sources: How to Avoid a Climate Disaster Bill Gates
  9. 9. © by ecolytiq GmbH, all rights reserved – www.ecolytiq.com Technology & Climate Change
  10. 10. Drawdown How to avoid a climate catastophe © by ecolytiq GmbH, all rights reserved – www.ecolytiq.com The drawdown is the point in which greenhouse gases in the atmosphere stop rising and start to steadily decline, thereby stopping catastrophic climate change. Sources: Harvard Business Review; Project Drawdown Malthusian View Solovian View vs. • Advocates de-growth i.e. the view that we need to shrink consumption and production in order to save the planet • Advocates self restraint • In favor of strong regulation • Originates with economist Thomas Malthus over 200 years ago who predicted exponential population growth would mean we can’t feed ourselves in the future • Advocates innovation i.e. the view that environmental crisis should be addressed through zero-emission or emission extracting technologies • Believes that acute need spurs innovation • Originates with economist Robert Solow
  11. 11. ClimateTech The startups out to save the world © by ecolytiq GmbH, all rights reserved – www.ecolytiq.com 800+ ClimateTech companies in Europe Energy Food Mobility Circularity Data Agriculture Finance Offsetting Industry Carbon Capture
  12. 12. Carbon Capture and Storage Promising technologies and companies removing carbon from our atmosphere © by ecolytiq GmbH, all rights reserved – www.ecolytiq.com Development R&D PoC Scale Direct air capture Technology: Air is pumped through large filters. A chemical reaction separated CO2. The CO2 is injected underground into rock and stored until it is mineralized Funding: 6th round - 650m CHF Green Premium: 5-12x. DAC costs 250-600 USD/ ton CO2 vs. ~50 USD/ton CO2 for reforestation Challenges: • Where can enough green power be sourced? • Where can large facilities be built? • Can enough CO2 be filtered? Time Mature Capital x Risk Nature based solutions Biochar / Bio-oil Ocean fertilization & upwelling Soil carbon sequestration Enhanced weathering Sources: International Energy Agency; Energy Transition Institute; Climeworks Enhanced oil recovery Point capture Capture Storage
  13. 13. Energy Technologies promising to deliver carbon free energy © by ecolytiq GmbH, all rights reserved – www.ecolytiq.com Development R&D PoC Scale Load shifting Time Mature Capital x Risk Pumped hydro Sources How to Avoid a Climate Disaster Bill Gates; Breakthrough Energy; Tibber Nuclear fission Solar Wind Production Storage Hydrogen & fuel cells Nuclear fusion Thermal storage Technology: subscription-based (not consumption based) energy company which incentivizes customers to use when renewables are cheapest. Funding: Series C - 90m EUR Green Premium: 15%. 1 Kwh all renewables 0,15 USD vs. 0,13 USD normal energy mix. Challenges: • How do we use more energy when there is a high renewables mix in the grid? • How do we scale solar given the land needed? • How do we transport and store renewables?
  14. 14. Circular Economy Promising technologies and companies removing transforming in/out economies © by ecolytiq GmbH, all rights reserved – www.ecolytiq.com Development R&D PoC Scale Time Mature Capital x Risk Product life extension Sources: Statista; Greyparrot Waste as a resource Materials marketplace Reuse platforms Optimized usage Advanced materials Advanced material recovery Technology: Automated AI powered waste sorting and recycling Funding: Series A – 8,9m GBP Challenges: • How can we ensure plastics are actually recycled? How can high quality plastics be identified? • How can we make sorting waste cost effective? • How can the price of recycled materials be brought down and the quality raised?
  15. 15. Agriculture Companies and technologies ensuring we can feed ourselves in a net zero world © by ecolytiq GmbH, all rights reserved – www.ecolytiq.com Development R&D PoC Scale Time Mature Capital x Risk Sources: Europa.eu; the Gaurdian; eu-startups.com Technology: indoor vertical farms Funding: Series B – 88m EUR Challenges: • How can we grow more food with less resources? • Can cattle be raised methane free? • Can ammonia (nitrogen) based fertilizers be made without fossil fuels? • How can we avoid waste of fertilizer? • How can we produce food without deforestation? Vertical farming Hydroponics Genetic engineering Nitrogen fixing bacteria Alternative feed Selective breeding Methane capture
  16. 16. Mobility Exciting companies and technologies for getting around in a net zero world © by ecolytiq GmbH, all rights reserved – www.ecolytiq.com Development R&D PoC Scale Time Mature Capital x Risk Sources: Volta Trucls; PwC Sharing economy Synthetic Aviation Fuel Technology: Electric trucks Funding: Series C – 230m EUR Green premium: Cars – close to zero, trucks & buses 108%, Aviation 296%, Shipping 601% Funding: Series A – 8,9m GBP Challenges: • Can aviation be decarbonized? • Can batteries power long distance transportation? Electric aviation Electric trucking Electric shipping Fuel cells Electric cars E-bikes and scooters Biofuels
  17. 17. Food Companies and technologies transforming food to help us achieve net zero © by ecolytiq GmbH, all rights reserved – www.ecolytiq.com Development R&D PoC Scale Time Mature Capital x Risk Sources: Foodhack; Startup Basecamp; Nova Meat Technology: 3D printing of plant based meats to replicate tissue texture Funding: Seed – 5m EUR Green Premium: 86% average price of vegan alternatives to the animal based variety Challenges: • Will consumers switch their preferences away from meat? • Can meat taste and texture be replicated? Cultivated meat Insect protein Meat substitutes Waste reduction Seaweed Printed meats Egg analogues
  18. 18. Heavy Industry Companies and technologies transforming the cement and steel industries © by ecolytiq GmbH, all rights reserved – www.ecolytiq.com Development R&D PoC Scale Time Mature Capital x Risk Sources: Crunchbase; Breakthrough Energy; McKinsey Alternate injection materials Technology: 95% emissions reduction in steal manufacturing by using green hydrogen and iron recycling Funding: Series B – 190m EUR Green Premium: 140% green cement, 29% green steel Challenges: • Is it possible to decarbonize the chemical reactions used for steel and cement making? Point capture Carbon cured cement Electrification Efficient furnaces Molten oxide electrolysis Cement Steel Clinker substitution Cross laminated timber
  19. 19. Data & Climate Insights Companies and technologies helping us measure and manage climate change © by ecolytiq GmbH, all rights reserved – www.ecolytiq.com Development R&D PoC Scale Time Mature Capital x Risk Sources: Fortune Technology: Cloud based carbon accounting software and reduction strategy Funding: Series A – 8,6m EUR Carbon footprinting Climate modelling Lifecycle assesment Supply chain transparency Demand forecasting ESG ratings Carbon accounting
  20. 20. © by ecolytiq GmbH, all rights reserved – www.ecolytiq.com How to make a difference
  21. 21. © by ecolytiq GmbH, all rights reserved – www.ecolytiq.com Geeks for Good Why the climate crisis needs us Thinks scientifically Adopts new technologies early Excited about solving complex problems Experienced at scaling innovation Works cross sector
  22. 22. © by ecolytiq GmbH, all rights reserved – www.ecolytiq.com As a techie As an individual Live sustainably Offset your impact Work in ClimateTech As an employee Getting involved What can tech people do? Be an early adopter of clean tech Commit your work to net zero Conduct research Invest in clean tech Do your carbon accounting Offset Donate money Start a company Join a hackathon
  23. 23. © by ecolytiq GmbH, all rights reserved – www.ecolytiq.com Thanks! Any questions?
  24. 24. © by ecolytiq GmbH, all rights reserved – www.ecolytiq.com Resources for getting involved What can tech people do? Career: • Really great job board: https://www.climateu.earth/ • https://climate.careers/ • The Absolute Beginner's Guide to Getting a Data Job in Climate https://www.notion.so/The-Absolute-Beginner-s-Guide-to-Getting-a-Data-Job-in-Climate- e54eaa96e8a64c9ca9627b8fc5994417 Hackathons: • https://www.climatefounders.com/climate-hack • https://climathon.climate-kic.org/ Volunteer / Pro Bono opportunities for Comp Sci people • https://www.notion.so/Looking-to-Get-Involved-with-Climate-Neutral- 1330539994644816bef3fe38f517b167 Slack communities: • https://www.climateu.earth/community • https://workonclimate.org/ Bootcamps / learn more: • https://www.climatebootcamp.com/ • https://terra.do/climate-education/cohort-courses/climate-change-learning-for-action/

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