Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

A group of energy industry veterans announced Tuesday that they are launching a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) aimed specifically at taking climate tech startups public.

Why it matters: They're self-branding as "the world’s first climate-focused" SPAC to launch.

  • The Climate Change Crisis Real Impact I Acquisition Corp. announced a $200 million IPO, with 20,000,000 shares priced at $10 each.
  • The new entity is poised to bring more capital into low-carbon tech companies.
  • Plus, some prominent names are leading. Co-founder and CEO David Crane is the former CEO of NRG Energy. Other co-founders include former senior GE exec Beth Comstock and John Cavalier, previously with Hudson Clean Energy partners.

The big picture: The SPAC, which is doing business as Climate Real Impact Solutions (CRIS), is looking at startups working on a range of technologies.

  • They're targeting sectors including renewables, grid stability, EV charging, climate-friendly liquid fuels, waste reduction, and sustainable farming.
  • They're also interested in the young but growing field of removing CO2 already in the atmosphere — an area also attracting investment from Bill Gates, Amazon and other deep pockets.

How it works: SPACs are public companies that operate as a shell, designed to acquire startups and thus make them public too.

  • SPACs aren't new, but 2020 has seen a burst of new ones and new deals.
  • Several companies in the electric transport space and other clean energy areas are going public via mergers with SPACs rather than traditional IPOs.

What we're watching: Who CRIS targets of course, and also other emerging players in the climate tech SPAC arena.

Go deeper

Ben Geman, author of Generate
Oct 25, 2020 - Energy & Environment

Canadian oil heavyweights team up in $18 billion deal

Cenovus Energy is buying Husky Energy in an all-stock deal valued at $18 billion including debt, the latest step in a wave of industry consolidation amid a pandemic that has sapped oil prices and demand.

Why it matters: The agreement will create Canada's third-largest oil-and-gas producer, with 750,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day in combined production, the company said, which includes lots of oil-sands and heavy oil output.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
22 hours ago - Economy & Business

Private equity shifts its attention to renewable energy

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Private equity is watching the consolidation of the North American oil and gas sector from the sidelines, instead focusing its energy efforts on renewables.

Driving the news: Cenovus Energy on Sunday agreed to buy Husky Energy for $2.9 billion in stock, in a deal that would create Canada’s third-largest oil and gas producer.

Pre-bunking rises ahead of the 2020 election

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Tech platforms are no longer satisfied with debunking falsehoods — now they're starting to invest in efforts that preemptively show users accurate information to help them counter falsehoods later on.

Why it matters: Experts argue that pre-bunking can be a more effective strategy for combative misinformation than fact-checking. It's also a less polarizing way to address misinformation than trying to apply judgements to posts after they've been shared.