Catalyst Conversation: Venture Capital and Financing Green Energy during Economic Decline06 Jan

clean energy

Venture Capital and Financing Green Energy during Economic Decline

The recession has sunk many industries over the past 10 months. The financial and auto industries have taken the brunt of the economic decline but what effect/affect has the economy played in the investment and innovation of green tech?

GCG focuses on the mixed reports on the investment in green tech by Venture Capital firms and the role the Federal Stimulus Package plays in generating “Green Jobs” and growing a sustainable green industry side by side of with revitalizing the economy. Key discussion points included financing woes shrinking Ausra’s big solar plans, Cleantech squeezed by drop in financing, effects of the stimulus package

The roundtable identified the financial dilemmas for funding Green Start-ups during economic turbulence, opportunities in Green and Clean Energy initiatives where funding is currently available, and gained an understanding of the Green Energy Initiative

Key questions included:

  • What will drive innovation in the Green Energy initiatives? Will Federal funds provide sustainable financing to start-ups in this emerging market?
  • What Green Energy Projects have the most economic and environmental promise? How will these projects stay afloat?
  • How can we define success in New and Alternative Energy initiatives? Is there sustainable funding and skilled labor to support these drastic swings?
  • What opportunities can GCG members identify in being bridge builders between financing and green projects?

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Catalyst Conversation: Pricing of CO228 Dec


GCG examines three salient strategies for the pricing of CO2 emissions: regulation, taxation and cap and trade. Each of these strategies faces a unique set of challenges and advantages that make it unclear which strategy is the most viable. Our goal this week is to weigh these opposing strategies against one another and identify which, if any, provides the best architecture for addressing global climate change.

For each strategy, GCG examined key advantages and challenges and considered expanded government, transparency, market distortion, inefficiencies, cost to various stakeholders, political feasibility, necessity of international cooperation, environmental impact, and legal implications. GCG also debated strategies that may have the best chance of success and best calibrate the regulation scheme.

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Environment, Government, Interviews

Global Environmental Carbon Policy09 Aug


As mounting concern about the ramifications of climate change presses global leaders to look for viable means to reduce carbon emissions, all attention has come to focus on the United States. As one of the largest overall emitters, both in volume and per capita, the decisions made here over the next year will determine the shape and pace of global climate policy over the next decade.  Most have come to agree that linked carbon markets are one of the most feasible ways to price and constrain emissions, though consensus on specific measures will depend heavily on how OECD and industrializing nations are able to reconcile their conflicting perspectives on what is fair, and what is reasonable.  This Sunday evening, our conversation will focus on the primary policy vehicles under consideration, the roadblocks and the possible avenues for collaboration in addressing what may prove to be the most important international issue and diplomatic challenge of the 21st century.

With ever increasing levels of carbon emissions and their threat to global warming, a fiercely deliberated issue has been around what is the best way to structure a global environmental policy. With Clinton’s recent visit to India and China’s hard stance during the G8 talks clearly showing the unwillingness of the developing countries to accept limits set by the developed nations, an interesting and timely topic for GCG members to discuss would be the issue of international environmental policy. In specific, we would like to discuss the following questions:

  • 1) Is it fair for the developed nations to impose carbon emission limits and increase tariffs on goods imported from developing countries and hence hinder their industrial development?
  • 2) What would be an effective & fair policy which would both not hinder industrial development of the emerging nations and at the same time limit carbon emissions?

The following articles will serve as guiding material for our discussion:

1) Poor countries wrangle with rich ones about who can burn what and when? (http://www.economist.com/world/international/displaystory.cfm?story_id=14009113)

2) How to Set Greenhouse Gas Emission Targets for All Countries?


Our guest speaker, Allison Shapiro, is a carbon markets specialist that has spoken to audiences across the globe on these looming issues.

Allison Shapiro Bio

Allison Shapiro is a Program Associate in the Carbon Markets program of the Ecosystem Marketplace. At Ecosystem Marketplace, she has contributed to the 2008 and 2009 ‘State of the Voluntary Carbon Markets’ reports, writes for the V-Carbon News, and updated the second edition of the book Voluntary Carbon Markets: A Business Guide to What They Are and How They Work. She was also a contributor to an Ecosystem Marketplace study on conservation banking in the United States for the information clearinghouse SpeciesBanking.com. Before joining Ecosystem Marketplace, Allison worked at ICF International, where she provided environmental management support to US federal government and foreign clients. Allison holds a BS degree in Science, Technology, and International Affairs with a concentration in Environmental Studies from Georgetown University. She speaks English and Spanish.  This coming year she will be attending Michigan Business School.

Our Mantra

The Global Catalyst Group seeks to gather persons of unique potential into a community dedicated to thought leadership, shared resources, and mutual improvement. Through deliberate collaboration, collective mentorship and continuous dialogue we believe that we can support and stretch one another with meaningful insight and thoughtful guidance. We encourage our membership and partners to exercise, together, their ambition, creativity, and both their professional and social networks to pursue a greater purpose than oneself. We challenge them to leave a legacy and we support one another towards this end.

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