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Illustration: Aรฏda Amer/Axios

2020 appears to be the year that Corporate America is serious about addressing climate change, but it remains unclear if venture capitalists plan to join the fight.

The big picture: Many VCs still have painful scars from the mid-to-late aughts, when they lost billions on investments in "cleantech" companies.

  • Those deals were largely based on a presumption that federal climate policy, if not also dollars, would move swiftly and strongly in a favorable direction. But that didn't really happen, and VCs became saddled with manufacturing-intensive businesses that they didn't really know how to properly manage.

To be sure, much has changed over the past decade. Renewable energy has become more price viable, there's a more comprehensive capital stack, and there's a wider supply of interested institutional capital (as opposed to before, when it was mostly fueled by a pair of large California pension plans).

But, but, but: I'm still not hearing much interest, outside of the few remaining survivors from the last go-around. And that's a big stumbling block, because fundamental climate solutions like carbon capture will rely on the very sorts of commercialized innovations that venture capital is charged with enabling.

  • And, for existing technologies that require greater deployment, both growth equity and private equity have key roles to play.

The bottom line: If Corporate America is really serious, beyond PR-laden lip service, then it must work to convince venture that it will be the change agent โ€” particularly as a customer throughout the supply chain โ€” that the federal government failed to be. It can be done, but it will take more than press releases out of Davos.

๐Ÿ“ท Pro Rata Podcast digs into revelations that antivirus software company Avast has been selling the Internet browsing histories of its hundreds of millions of users. Listen here.

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Hospital crisis deepens as holiday season nears.
  2. Vaccine: Moderna to file for FDA emergency use authorization โ€” Vaccinating rural America won't be easy โ€” Being last in the vaccine queue is young people's next big COVID test.
  3. Politics: Bipartisan group of senators seeks stimulus deal โ€” Chuck Grassley returns to Senate after recovering from COVID-19.
  4. States: Cuomo orders emergency hospital protocols as COVID capacity dwindles.
  5. Economy: Wall Street wonders how bad economy has to get for Congress to act.
  6. ๐ŸŽง Podcast: The state of play of the top vaccines.
2 hours ago - Health

First blood test to help diagnose Alzheimer's goes public

Photo: Jerry Naunheim Jr./C2N Diagnostics via AP

A non-COVID medical breakthrough: People over 60 now have access to a blood test for Alzheimer's disease.

Why it matters: The existing PET brain scan test costs some people about $5,000 and often isn't covered by insurance, AP reports.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Wisconsin, Arizona certify Biden's victories

Photo: Demetrius Freeman/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Arizona and Wisconsin officials confirmed the presidential election results in their states, formalizing President-elect Joe Biden's victories in the key battlegrounds.

Why it matters: The moves deal yet another blow to President Trump's efforts to block or delay certification in key swing states that he lost.ย