Our Taxonomy for Climate Adaptation Tech ('CAT')
Updated: Dec 15, 2022
There is growing interest in the adaptation 'side' of ClimateTech. Mazarine refers to this space as Climate Adaptation Tech, or 'CAT'.
Our new climate reality is sinking in
Even if all carbon emissions stop today (unlikely) the effects of an already changed climate are destroying lives and livlihoods. Recent Climate Adaptation announcements reflect a not-so-subtle inflection:
White House announcement calling for increased focus on Climate Adaptation, here
Harvard Business Review feature on Cliamte Adaptation, here
U.S. EPA released 20 Climate Adaptation Implementation Plans, here
H2O Global News feature on WaterTech's role in Climate Adaptation, here
Does adapting mean 'cutting carbon' or 'contributing to Net Zero?
No. Climate Adaptation means facing the reality that despite past and present well-intentioned efforts to stop/slow GHG emissions, humanity needs to start investing in technology innovations that help industry and society survive the new climate reality. Adaptation includes efforts around resiliency, but adaptation and resiliency have different meanings.
ClimateTech investors are paying attention, but how to proceed?
The question many impact investors and generalist ClimateTech investors are asking is "Where and how can we participate in dealflow on the Climate Adaptation side of ClimateTech?" Or, even before that question, "Can you give me an example of Climate Adaptation Tech?" Download the PDF below.
Classification Net Zero, Decarb, and 'transition to a low carbon economy' enjoy a relatively well-defined taxonomy, namely: innovations in 1) renewable energy, 2) energy efficiency, 3) carbon sequestration, and 4) the long-tail of innovations that slow/stop industry's and society's GHG emissions. Whilst we don't have a mandate to invest specifically in 'decarb', Mazarine supports any companies with innovations that support decarb efforts.
Yet, technologies that address our need to deal with/ adapt to an already changed climate have unfortunately not undergone the same degree of organization that decarb has. This needs to change if more investment is to jump the fence from decarb into Climate adaptation.
Why is Mazarine sharing this?
As impact investors, one of our mandates is to catalyze sharing and learning opportunities for our network. This shared taxonomy (below) is part of that effort. Mazarine doesn't claim this is somehow authoritative, but we do hope this framing and taxonomy help impact and climate investors formulate a thesis for the Climate Adaptation 'side' of ClimateTech. What is your framing and taxonomy? We welcome discussion and partnerships with others who share our commitment to leveraging Climate Adaptation Tech, or 'CAT" to help industry and society adapt to our uncertain climate future.
What is 'CAT'? Download this PDF.