This week’s Current Climate, which every Saturday brings you the latest news about the business of sustainability. Sign up to get it in your inbox every week.
This week, Forbes launched its annual 30 Under 30 Europe list, and as always, there were lots of talented young people already making a name for themselves in the sustainability economy. For example, in the Social Impact category, there’s Alisha Fredriksson, 28 and Rouiia Wen, 27, who cofounded Seabound, which is creating carbon capture equipment for commercial ships. Then in the Manufacturing & Industry category, there’s Nicolas Cruaud, 27, and Clément Bénassy, 27, whose company Néolithe turns non-recyclable waste into mineral aggregates that can be used in construction. And in the Science & Healthcare category there’s Stefan Grossfurthner, 27, and Ludovico Mitchener, 26, whose company Phycoworks is developing strains of algae that can transform carbon dioxide from the atmosphere into sustainable chemical products.
That’s just a few of the 30 Under 30 Europe listmakers who were working on sustainable enterprises. You can read more about them here.
The Big Read
The Inflation Reduction Act Is Very Good At One Thing: Making Billionaires Richer
The Inflation Reduction Act, signed into law last August, seems destined to both create a bunch of new green billionaires—and further enrich existing ones. Between now and 2031, the bill calls for nearly $400 billion in grants, loans and tax breaks to underwrite the green energy revolution.
Discoveries And Innovations
More than 99% of the world’s population are being exposed to unhealthy levels of air pollution, according to a new study.
Fashion brand Tom Ford announced the winners of its annual Plastic Innovation Prize, which is awarded to companies who develop sustainable alternatives to thin-film plastics.
A four-decade study finds that the amount of plastic in the ocean has skyrocketed since 2005 and that figure continues to increase.
Sustainability Deals Of The Week
Sustainable Finance: Banyan Infrastructure, a startup that builds software enabling project finance tracking for sustainable projects, announced it has raised a $25 million series B round led by Energize Ventures.
Real-Time Flood Data: Floodbase, which provides near-real time flood data and fkood risk analysis, announced that it’s been selected by the Federal Emergency Management Agency to strengthen the government’s flood analytics abilities.
Electrification SPAC: ZeroNox, which provides electrification infrastructure and other services for commercial and industrial vehicles, announced it will be going public through a merger with special purpose acquisition company Growth For Good.
Geothermal Power: XGS Energy, which develops geothermal energy technology, announced that it has secured $19 million in new financing, which will be used to develop its tech further.
On The Horizon
There are already 100 trillion bits of space debris circling in Earth’s orbit, as as more and more satellites are launched, the problem could get a lot worse. Which is why an international collaboration of scientists wrote this week to encourage policymakers to develop regulations that would prevent parts of Earth’s orbit from potentially becoming unusable.
What Else We’re Reading This Week
Green Transportation Update
Cars, trucks and trains are the biggest source of U.S. carbon emissions, accounting for more than a quarter. To bring that down, the country has to target more than passenger vehicles. Commercial vehicles and big trucks all need to get much cleaner over the years. That creates both a threat and a big opportunity for Cummins, the top maker of diesel engines and generators. The century-old manufacturer says it’s beefing up its cleantech business, rolling batteries, electric truck components and electrolyzers that make “green” hydrogen from water and renewable power into Accelera, a brand that CEO Jennifer Rumsey hopes becomes a money machine by the end of the decade.
The Big Transportation Story
Siemens Is Boosting U.S. Passenger Train Production With A $220 Million North Carolina Plant
The Biden Administration wants more Americans traveling by train and secured billions of dollars to bolster Amtrak’s operations and expand and improve commuter railways. That spurred Germany’s Siemens to announce it’s building a second U.S. passenger train factory, a $220 million facility opening in North Carolina next year.