Edition for 17 June 2020

Top Stories

Global oil demand could hit record growth rate next year, IEA warns (Guardian)

  • The world’s oil demand could climb at its fastest rate in the history of the market next year, and may reach pre-crisis levels within years, unless new green policies are adopted, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA).
  • The global energy watchdog has forecast that the world’s daily oil demand may climb by 5.7m barrels next year, the fastest annual climb on record, to an average of 97m barrels of oil a day in 2021.
  • Fatih Birol, the IEA’s executive director, said claims that the world had already reached peak oil were “overhyped,” and warned that it may fail to materialise unless governments accelerated clean energy investment as part of a green economic recovery plan.

UK oil & gas industry pledges CO2 curbs in appeal for government help (S&P Global Platts)

  • Outlining the new goals, intended to fend off environmental criticism and align the oil and gas sector with the UK's goal of net zero emissions by 2050, OGUK emphasized the blow inflicted by the coronavirus and collapsing oil prices.
  • "Given the limited impact that the severity of the lockdown has had on global emissions, it's clearer than ever that we need a fair, inclusive and sustainable transition toward climate targets," OGUK CEO Deirdre Michie said.
  • Oil & Gas UK's climate goals do not cover the emissions resulting from the consumption of UK oil and gas, but from the process of oil and gas production in the North Sea, including generation of power and heat at offshore platforms, and the "flaring," or burning off of gas, for safety or technical reasons.

Rwanda: Inside the Country's 10 Multi-Billion Dollar Green Projects (AllAfrica News)

  • Rwanda recently submitted its new national climate plan dubbed "Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs)" to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
  • The financial resources for its implementation will be sourced from government budget, Rwandan communities, the private sector, NGOs, Rwanda Green Fund as well as international stakeholders.
  • Doing Business looked into the report and compiled top ten multimillion climate investments in the next ten years for climate change mitigation and adaptation.

Utilities Must Further Adapt, Diversify Investments to Edge out Competition and Meet Changing Energy Needs (Business Wire)

  • A survey of nearly 400 executives and influencers across the US and Canadian utility industry found that climate change, business model evolution, and distributed energy resources (DER) integration are top of mind for industry stakeholders as both new and existing challenges accelerate unprecedented change.
  • “Utilities have to further adapt and make different investment decisions as the customers, cities, and communities they serve seek to rely on a partner that can evolve as their energy needs continue to change.” 
  • According to survey results, two-thirds of respondents said utilities should take multiple actions to proactively respond to climate change threats, including converting generation fleets to renewables and storage, embracing sustainability initiatives across operations, and integrating resiliency across the network.

Nikola Motors, a Tesla competitor with zero revenue, is worth $23 billion. That doesn't faze its founder. (Business Insider)

  • Nikola Motors, an electric truck maker that wants to eventually go after both Tesla and the freight market, is still months away from delivering its first products.
  • Unphased investors have nevertheless piled into the stock this month, sending the company's valuation soaring to well above $20 billion in just three months on public exchanges.
  • "It does take more energy to produce hydrogen than it does to charge a battery electric truck," Milton said, "but the advantage you get with hydrogen is building all your hydrogen stations on the interstate freeways, where you're able to source your energy directly and pay under 4 cents a kilowatt hour for energy."

SAP wants to make supply chains greener than ever (TechRadar)

  • SAP has revealed a new way for climate-conscious companies to keep track of their emissions across the entire supply chain. 
  • It says that the SAP Product Carbon Footprint Analytics tool can monitor individual plants, cost centres or even individual products to spot any potential issues or growth in emissions levels, helping manufacturers keep track of their spending.
  • SAP noted that although many companies already monitor and measure any CO2 emissions at their own production sites, customers are also increasingly demanding visibility into the full carbon footprint of the individual products they purchase.

Prime Impact Fund Closes Climate Tech Venture capital Fund, at $50M (FinSMEs)

  • Prime Impact Fund, a Cambridge, Mass.-based early-stage venture capital firm focused on breakthrough climate technologies, closed its fund with approximately $50m in capital raised.
  • Family offices, corporations, and foundations such as the Sierra Club Foundation and the David and Lucile Packard Foundation have backed Prime Impact Fund to support high-risk, high-reward climate ventures.
  • Since operationalizing in October 2018, the Fund has made investments in eight climate tech startups: Lilac Solutions; Via Separations; C-Motive Technologies; MicroByre; Verdox; Treau; Sublime Systems; and Clean Crop Technologies.

European VC firm Pale Blue Dot plans to fund 40 ‘planet-positive’ startups (TechCrunch)

  • Pale Blue Dot, a newly outed European venture capital firm focused on climate tech, announced this week the first closing of its debut fund at €53 million.
  • Targeting pre-seed and seed stage startups, the firm says it will consider software and technology investments with a strong positive climate impact.
  • We also discussed the macro trends that warrant a fund specializing in climate tech and why Europe is poised to become a leader in the space.

N.J. to build massive Wind Port facility in Salem County, with aim of becoming supply chain leader in sector (ROI-NJ)

  • Gov. Phil Murphy announced Monday that the state will develop the New Jersey Wind Port — a 200-plus-acre facility in Lower Alloways Creek Township that it hopes will serve as a location for essential staging, assembly and manufacturing activities related to offshore wind projects on the East Coast.
  • Murphy said the project has the potential to create up to 1,500 manufacturing, assembly and operations jobs, as well as hundreds of construction jobs. 
  • In addition to the economic boost that will come from creating the needed pieces for offshore wind farms, he said he feels it will play a huge part in meeting his green energy goals — reaching 7,500 megawatts of offshore wind power by 2035 and 100% clean energy by 2050. 

These are Canada’s greenest employers in 2020 (The Globe and Mail)

  • From choosing renewable energy to waste audits to LED lighting systems, companies featured on this year’s list are accustomed to running successful businesses while minimizing their ecological footprints. 
  • Canada’s Greenest Employers is an editorial competition that recognizes employers that lead the nation in creating a culture of environmental awareness. 
  • Winning employers, selected by editors of Canada’s Top 100 Employers, are evaluated using four main criteria: (1) unique environmental initiatives or programs they have developed; (2) whether they have been successful in reducing their own environmental footprint; (3) whether their employees are involved in these programs and contribute unique skills; and (4) whether their environmental initiatives have become linked to the employer’s public identity, attracting new employees or customers.

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