By Mick Liubinskas
Climate technology has a critical job to help the world get back to sustainability. But what is it? Below is a landscape map that we've used to help understand, explain, and explore this new industry.
The first layer is impact. How are you helping the environment? Are you reducing emissions going out (less energy, less meat, less waste)? Or are you removing emissions that are already out there with something like sequestration (trees, seaweed) or carbon capture and storage/use.
Unfortunately it's too late to just do that, we need to build tech to adapt to a significantly changed environment - more storms, fires, sea level rise, water, food, air, energy. And finally natural assets - this huge part of our lives that we've taken for granted - how do we value, care for, and look after the environment the same way we care about money.
The next layer is where the impact is made. We like to not think about the silos of industries but think about jobs to be done. This is borrowed from Bill Gates book How to Avoid Climate Disaster and shows the good verbs to think about - growing, powering, making, moving and cooling. The thing you’ll notice is how general they are and that by overlapping and intersecting, they cover off every part of human existence. Yes, climate tech is 100 times bigger than the Internet. It changes everything. After segments, we have technology types. Software is eating the world but won’t solve the climate crisis. We need to get our hands dirty and work on deep tech - hardware, science, energy and infrastructure - plus lots of software too.
Where in the development cycle is the tech we need? Briefly, everything, everywhere, all at once. We do have a lot of great technology we need - solar, wind, hydro, EVs, batteries - but that tech can be improved, there are whole lot of new products that can/should/must be developed and also moonshots to help us in the long term.
And the final layers…
- Customers - consumers, business and government are hugely different and all important.
- Markets - there are some local products, and environment is a global problem and needs global solutions
- Funding - a wide range of companies needs a wide range of funding options. Some of these can just do that wonderful thing of making a fair profit - while simultaneously having positive environmental impact. Some will need to raise money from investors or debt. And some will need a ton of money from government to even get a product out of the lab.
This is not perfect and we would love feedback on gaps. For instance, where does circular economy fit? Water? For now, it’s a useful base for a few reasons. Firstly - there is no silver mushroom - no one solution, product, company that’s going to get us to sustainability. It’s complicated, messy, overlapping and integrated.
Secondly - in that complexity is opportunity. For every person, country and company to go from negative to positive. We need big, small, old, new companies to work together. Partnerships and collaboration. Researchers and entrepreneurs.
What is Climate Salad doing about this? To support this, Climate Salad is launching our Global Growth Program and it’s now live.
- We are looking to help Australian companies solving environmental problems with globally scalable technology.
- A 9 month program of mentoring, support, international trade missions and support capital raising.
- If you’re a company, mentor, investor, or partner please get in touch