Brinc recently co-hosted the first Asia-Pacific Climate Tech Showcase alongside the Global Institute For Tomorrow (GIFT). The event aimed to highlight the pioneers in climate tech investment and carbon removal in order to raise awareness, reduce barriers, and drive system-wide innovation within the region’s climate tech ecosystems.
“We know we’re in a climate crisis, we know it’s going to take everybody, we know that we need engineered carbon removal…and it’s okay to have competitors because we need competition to solve this problem.” Nick Martin, Co-Founder and COO, Carbon Reform
One of the key themes of the event was how to scale faster. Stacy Kauk, Head of Sustainability at Shopify, talked about their principle of sharing everything. For carbon removal, she stressed the urgency of proper standards around measurement, reporting, and verification (MRV), particularly to ensure that accurate carbon accounting was used and that a ton purchased actually translated to a ton removed. Mike Lim, Partner at TRIREC, advocated for government support as well as corporate incentives for companies to help validate new technologies. The importance of systems thinking was a critical aspect of these conversations, given that addressing climate change is a multi-part problem that must be addressed with conservation/preservation, emissions reduction, and carbon removal.
“What is a just transition for economies that are still growing and need to grow? My hope is that technology can come along to address some of these [challenges].” Jonathan Schieber, Venture Partner, Footprint Coalition
The role of technology to solve these pressing issues was central topic. For carbon removal in particular, the need for a portfolio of solutions today is key, along with a growing pipeline of projects at price points compelling for more corporate buyers. Nick Martin of Carbon Reform outlined principles of economics, scalability, and equity for his startup and others to succeed.
“Decarbonization has the potential to be a new economic engine for the region…We have to tie the economic benefit of climate action — especially when it comes to technology — with future-proofing the region.” Stacy Kauk, Head of Sustainability, Shopify
Finally, considering local context was another core discussion topic to ensure climate solutions are part of a just transition. One tension highlighted is the need to account for historical emissions as well as current growth across different regions. Kaylee advocated for an appropriate policy landscape that accounts for environmental justice as one part of the solution. Lim in particular talked about the diversity of the Asia-Pacific region, across axes ranging from regulatory pressures around decarbonization, the state of economic development, and other country-specific needs. He proposed finding a balance between where to best develop technologies and figuring out how to adapt them to local context.
Despite the urgent and complex challenges central to the discussion, the showcase ended on a note of optimism across speakers. The event was successful in sparking new conversations between local Hong Kong stakeholders and innovative startups for testing and deployment. Since the event, Frontier has also announced the incorporation of new corporate buyers. Brinc hopes this is the first of many such events which will bring together key stakeholders and outline ways to support a fast and just transition.
Brinc would like to thank all moderators and speakers for their involvement and support. To find out more about the Asia-Pacific Climate Tech Showcase, visit https://www.climatetech-showcase.com/, or watch the full video here.