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Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Large real estate companies are putting $140 million into a climate tech fund that aims to help decarbonize the sector, according to an announcement Monday morning from the venture firm Fifth Wall.

Why it matters: The funding round, which includes some of the largest players in the industry, signals growing momentum toward backing new technologies needed to slash carbon emissions to net-zero by midcentury and achieve negative emissions thereafter.

Details: Fifth Wall, a venture firm focused on technology for the real estate industry, says the new investors in its climate tech fund include large players such as Equity Residential, Hudson Pacific Properties, Invitation Homes, Ivanhoe Cambridge and others.

  • The fund aims for a total raise of $500 million, and it plans to invest in mainly early-stage businesses, Brendan Wallace, co-founder and managing partner, told Axios.
  • "Real estate is kind of this massive industry when it comes to climate change, but at the same time we haven't seen the industry commit a significant amount of capital to the tech that's required to decarbonize it," Wallace said.
  • The Fifth Wall Climate Tech Fund has invested in several companies so far, including Sealed and Turntide Technologies.
  • Fifth Wall is a Certified B Corporation venture capital firm with about $2.5 billion in commitments and capital under management.

Context: The real estate sector is a significant player when it comes to climate change. According to the U.N. Environment Program, the buildings sector accounted for 38% of all global energy-related carbon dioxide emissions in 2019.

Go deeper: Our free short course has what you need to know about climate technologies, where they stand, why they matter, and what's limiting their rollout. 

Go deeper

Ben Geman, author of Generate
Oct 19, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Biden's carbon emissions-cutting pledge faces tough climb

Image from the Rhodium Group study "Pathways to Paris." Courtesy of the Rhodium Group.

The verdict is in: President Biden's U.S. emissions-cutting pledge isn't a fantasy, but the path to meeting it is very difficult and relies on forces outside of White House control.

Driving the news: The Rhodium Group just released an analysis of policy combinations that could close the gap between the current U.S. trajectory and Biden's vow under the Paris Agreement to cut emissions in half by 2030.

Rahm Emanuel questioned on murder of Laquan McDonald in confirmation hearing

Rahm Emanuel during a Senate Foreign Relations Committee confirmation hearing on Oct. 20. Photo: Sarah Silbiger/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Former Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel spoke about the murder of Laquan McDonald during his Senate confirmation hearing Wednesday to become the U.S. ambassador to Japan, saying that "there's not a day or a week that has gone by in the last seven years I haven't thought about this."

Catch up quick: McDonald was a Black teenager who was fatally shot 16 times by Chicago police during Emanuel's tenure as the city's mayor. The 2014 shooting triggered massive protests, both because of its nature and the fact that the officers' body-cam footage was concealed for years.

3 hours ago - World

Biden's ambassador nominee: "China is not an Olympian power"

Nick Burns testifying before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Photo: Sarah Silbiger/Bloomberg via Getty Images

President Biden's nominee to serve as ambassador to China delivered a stark assessment of the challenges the U.S. faces in confronting Beijing, but stressed that the rising superpower is "not all-powerful" and the West retains "substantial" advantages.

The big picture: Nicholas Burns, a retired career diplomat and former U.S. ambassador to NATO, used his confirmation hearing Wednesday to echo the growing bipartisan consensus that China poses "the greatest threat to the security of our country and the democratic world" in the 21st century.