Show an ad over header. AMP

I am the FIRST

Tech and entertainment titans like Amazon and Google team up to scale climate solutions

A group of eight large companies, including tech and entertainment heavy hitters such as Amazon, Google, Microsoft, Disney and Netflix, are joining environmental groups and the U.N. to devise ways to scale funding for climate solutions, Axios has learned.

Why it matters: The collective will be called the Business Alliance to Scale Climate Solutions (BASCS), and will serve as a knowledge-sharing network that has the potential to accelerate companies' emissions reduction efforts.

The businesses involved have made ambitious climate commitments, and are now seeking to tap into collective knowledge to help them achieve their targets.

Details: According to Elizabeth Turcken, who leads the Environmental Defense Fund's net zero program, the group will comprise a "virtual table around which companies will gather to scale and accelerate climate funding solutions."

  • "Companies are realizing that there is no way any one of them, even the most ambitious, or rich company can solve this problem alone, it's the same issue with any government," Turcken told Axios.
  • She said the new alliance allows firms that might otherwise compete with one another to launch clean energy projects to collaborate before engaging in such competition.
  • In addition to EDF, the UN Environment Program (UNEP) is also involved, as is the World Wildlife Fund.

Of note: The alliance is similar in concept to the Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance, which helps large-scale clean energy buyers find suitable investments.

Yes, but: The alliance is explicit about preventing companies from simply trying to offset their emissions, and firms that join need to agree to core principles that emphasize the need for absolute emissions cuts.

What they're saying: According to UNEP's Gabriel Labbate, who is the team leader of an international forest conservation effort known as REDD+, the new alliance could lend itself to nature-based solutions such as protecting carbon absorbing forests.

  • “This must be the decade of action. We need to achieve large-scale emissions reductions and there is no time to lose," Labbate said in a statement to Axios.
  • "BASCS will play a leading role, not only in halting forest loss, but also in demonstrating how nature-based solutions, through emission reductions of the highest quality, can best complement, and not substitute, strong decarbonization efforts,” he said.

Max Scher, who heads clean energy and carbon programs at Salesforce, told Axios that the alliance is unique in that it's by businesses for businesses, and aims to break down silos in which many currently operate.

  • "The the intent of this is really to shift this kind of mode from lots of different initiatives coming at a small group of companies to a lot of companies sitting down and saying, 'We have the same goal. And my goal is actually only going to be successful if you also succeed at the same goal. So we should probably do this together, we can share our resources and we can learn together, and by doing so, act better together," Scher said.

What's next: Look for more companies to join this alliance after it formally launches on Thursday.

Why the startup world needs to ditch "unicorns" for "dragons"

When Aileen Lee originally coined the term "unicorn" in late 2013, she was describing the 39 "U.S.-based software companies started since 2003 and valued at over $1 billion by public or private market investors."

Flashback: It got redefined in early 2015 by yours truly and Erin Griffith, in a cover story for Fortune, as any privately-held startup valued at $1 billion or more. At the time, we counted 80 of them.

Keep reading... Show less

Scoop: Facebook's new moves to lower News Feed's political volume

Facebook plans to announce that it will de-emphasize political posts and current events content in the News Feed based on negative user feedback, Axios has learned. It also plans to expand tests to limit the amount of political content that people see in their News Feeds to more countries outside of the U.S.

Why it matters: The changes could reduce traffic to some news publishers, particularly companies that post a lot of political content.

Keep reading... Show less

Scoop: Amazon quietly getting into live audio business

Amazon is investing heavily in a new live audio feature that's similar to other live audio offerings like Clubhouse, Twitter Spaces and Spotify's new live audio platform, sources tell Axios.

Why it matters: As with Amazon's efforts in podcasting and music subscriptions, the company sees live audio as a way to bolster the types of content it can offer through its voice assistant, Alexa, and its smart speaker products.

Keep reading... Show less

Hurricane Ida exposes America's precarious energy infrastructure

The powerful hurricane that plunged New Orleans into darkness for what could be weeks is the latest sign that U.S. power systems are not ready for a warmer, more volatile world.

The big picture: “Our current infrastructure is not adequate when it comes to these kinds of weather extremes,” Joshua Rhodes, a University of Texas energy expert, tells Axios.

Keep reading... Show less

"We must go further": 70% of adults in European Union are fully vaccinated

About 70% of adults in the European Union are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, Ursula von der Leyen, the president of the European Commission, said Tuesday.

Why it matters: The milestone makes the E.U. one of the world's leaders in inoculations, after an initially lagging vaccine campaign, the New York Times notes.

Keep reading... Show less

What Elizabeth Holmes jurors will be asked ahead of fraud trial

Jury selection begins today in USA v. Elizabeth Holmes, with the actual jury trial to get underway on Sept. 8.

Why it matters: Theranos was the biggest fraud in Silicon Valley history, putting both hundreds of millions of dollars and thousands of patients' health at risk.

Keep reading... Show less



Get Goodhumans in your inbox

Most Read

More Stories