Axios Pro: Climate Deals

July 20, 2022

Axios Pro Exclusive Content

🐪 Welcome to Wednesday.

🚗 Situational awareness: Tesla is set to report its Q2 earnings this evening. A call is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. ET.

1 big thing: Climate tech pros on emergency implications

Firefighters fill a water aircraft to battle wildfires near Yosemite National Park in California. Photo: Neal Waters/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

Here is what investors are saying about the U.S. climate emergency declaration that the White House is considering and what it would mean for the climate tech sector.

Zachary Bogue, co-founder and managing partner of DCVC, on what would happen if the emergency curbed gas drilling: "Less gas drilling would — on the balance — increase the price for nitrogen fertilizer (already at a local maximum) and the cost of natural gas energy generation."

  • "These would be helpful for my DCVC portfolio companies like biological fertilizer replacement company Pivot Bio and advanced nuclear energy Oklo, respectively. These would be mild tail winds and not something that would make or break their business models," Bogue adds.

David Kirkpatrick, co-founder and managing director of SJF Ventures, on the importance of any policy response to the extreme heat and fires burning globally: "When we make investment recommendations, we talk about the policy landscape and what we’re relying on or not — federal and state. So it’s relevant."

Janice Tran, CEO and founder of Kanin Energy, on an emergency declaration and its potential impact: "I can’t see an emergency action instilling a long-term price on carbon, or to roll out billions of dollars of climate tax credits over the next five to 10 years. There are limitations of what can be effective through an emergency action alone, but it doesn’t mean Biden shouldn’t try."

  • Then again, Tran adds, "the emergency act is meant to be temporary and can face a court challenge, which brings in policy uncertainty, and uncertainty scares away investors."

Albert Wenger, managing partner at Union Square Ventures, on the prospect of an emergency declaration: “I also believe it could be helpful for bringing more investment to the space if companies wind up getting government orders. The administration has taken some interesting steps here, including invoking the Defense Production Act."

Catch up fast: White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said yesterday that while no emergency declaration is coming this week, it remains on the table.

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