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Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

This morning brought the launch of a climate tech VC fund that's notable for its prominent backers and connective tissue to communities on the front lines of global warming.

Driving the news: Earthshot Ventures is a new early-stage investor in hardware and software companies that announced its presence today and the close of its first fund at $60 million.

  • Backers include Microsoft, billionaire climate activist Tom Steyer, the Emerson Collective, McKinley Alaska Private Investment, Kleiner Perkins chairman John Doerr, Hawaii's state pension fund, and Facebook executive Chris Cox.

The big picture: More and more money is flowing into climate tech at a time when the window is closing to meet the Paris Agreement's climate goals.

  • Via Pitchbook, U.S. climate tech deals this year have already totaled a record-breaking $11 billion.

How it works: The new fund is spun out of the Hawaii-based Elemental Excelerator, a decade-old nonprofit climate tech finance organization.

  • Three of Elemental's officials will lead the new Earthshot fund, including Elemental founder and CEO Dawn Lippert.
  • In addition, the new fund is working with the startup accelerator Launch Alaska.

What they're saying: Earthshot's ties to Hawaii- and Alaska-based organizations will "bring real-world experience and insight deploying technologies in communities on the front lines of climate change," the announcement states.

  • Alaska is seeing melting permafrost and rapid warming, and Hawaii is threatened by sea-level rise and changes in weather patterns.

Go deeper: The private climate finance surge

Go deeper

Flood of money pours into climate tech

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Funds are making moves to achieve climate solutions breakthroughs, as well as investing in companies that seek to help communities better manage the climate risks they already face today.

Driving the news: StormSensor, a company that monitors watersheds in real time, including providing flood data, announced on Wednesday that it has closed a $10 million funding round. The funding is co-led by Orbia Ventures and Buoyant Ventures, with participation from other funds and individuals.

Fall is heating up in Austin

Expand chart
Data: Climate Central; Chart: Axios Visuals

This year's warm fall wasn't just a one-off. Autumn in Austin is getting warmer.

Why it matters: Sure, some people like a warm fall day, but fundamental climate changes can lead to more mosquitoes, higher cooling costs and longer allergy seasons.

Australia joins U.S. in diplomatic boycott of Beijing Winter Olympics

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison. Photo: Darrian Traynor/Getty Images

Australia is joining the U.S. in a diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympic Games in protest of human rights abuses committed by China's government, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Wednesday.

Driving the news: After the Biden administration's announcement that U.S. officials won't attend the Games due to the ongoing genocide of Uighurs and other Muslim minorities in the Xinjiang region of China, Morrison said at a Sydney briefing that Australia would follow suit as "it's the right thing to do."