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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The past year's avalanche of special purpose acquisition companies, or SPACs, has been an unexpected boon for some investors in the climate tech industry.

Driving the news: According to an analysis by Climate Tech VC from Dec. 11, the 10 climate tech companies that completed mergers in 2020 notably outperformed, posting on average a 131% return, compared with the 50% return of the total SPAC post-merger market (assuming a $10 offer price).

  • More than 27 climate tech companies announced SPAC mergers in 2020, with more to come this year.

Yes, but: It's not been entirely smooth sailing.

  • Electric vehicle company Nikola initially garnered a lot of attention for going public via a SPAC, before a report from short seller Hindenburg Research accused it of being an "intricate fraud built on dozens of lies," reportedly setting off an SEC investigation and the departure of Founder and Executive Chairman Trevor Milton.
  • And more broadly, it's still unclear how many of these companies will fare over the long term, especially since some are pre-revenue and making bold business forecasts.

Between the lines: "At least for now, the exit window is open," says Spring Lane Capital co-founder Rob Day. "The SPAC wave has created a lot of exit opportunities for the venture folks at least. I have friends who have said to me that 2020 made their fund."

Go deeper

Biden's budget would boost climate, clean energy spending

Emissions rise from the Kentucky Utilities Co. Ghent generating station in Ghent, Ky., on April 6, 2021. Photo: Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg via Getty Images

President Biden's first budget request to Congress contains large increases in climate-change-related spending, on the order of $14 billion above the prior year's levels, according to a White House summary.

Why it matters: It provides details on how the White House hopes to translate its vow to act aggressively on global warming, both at home and abroad, into specific funding levels and agency-by-agency plans.

Climate change is a major threat to stability, spy agencies say

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Climate change will lead to a less secure, more crisis-prone world that will strain global institutions, according to a major national security assessment released Thursday.

Driving the news: The “Global Trends Report,” produced every four years by the National Intelligence Council, spotlights climate change among the main structural forces shaping the next two decades.

Updated 8 mins ago - World

Over 70 dead in worst bombardments between Israel and Hamas for years

Smoke and flames rise after Israeli fighter jets conducted airstrikes in Gaza on May 13, 2021. Israeli forces said on May 12 they had killed a senior Hamas commander and bombed several buildings. Gaza's health ministry has said children are among the dead. Photo: Ashraf Amra/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

At least 67 Palestinians and seven Israelis have been killed in fighting between Israel's military and Hamas since Monday, per Reuters.

The big picture: The worst aerial exchanges of fire between Israel and Hamas since 2014 continued into early Thursday. It come days after escalating violence in Jerusalem that injured hundreds of Palestinians and several Israeli police officers during protests over the planned evictions of Palestinian families from their homes.