AI for sustainability, billionaire bets against coal and Tesla amid falling sales in China

This week Current climatewhich every Saturday brings you the latest in sustainability business. Sign up to receive it in your inbox every week.

Jthank you all you, loyal readers of the Current Climate newsletter. This week, we’re starting some format changes in an effort to bring you more focused news on the sustainability industry. To that end, we are introducing new sections to the newsletter, including one that focuses on venture capital funding, mergers and acquisitions, contracts and other ongoing industry deals. I am also pleased to announce that my colleague, Alan Ohnsman, joins me as co-editor of the newsletter. Alan will bring you weekly news from the world of green transport, from electric cars to the hydrogen economy. Let us know what you think of the changes and what other types of news you might be interested in.

But without further ado, here’s your sustainability roundup for the week…

Earlier this week, Forbes published its fourth edition AI List 50, which rewards private North American companies that do interesting – and effective – things with artificial intelligence. Several of these companies do work directly related to sustainability activities, including AMP Robotics, which builds 300-pound robots that can quickly sort through the millions of tons of glass, plastic and paper sent to recycling plants each year. There’s also Aurora Solar, whose platform uses computer vision to help solar companies design systems for their customers faster, accelerating solar projects at lower cost. Another star on the list is FarmWise, which has developed a self-contained vegetable weeder that allows farmers to tend their fields using fewer herbicides.

You can view the full list of 50 companies here.

The big read

The Australian tech billionaire who bet big against coal, making enemies at home and admirers in the US

Atlassian co-CEO Mike Cannon-Brookes is pouring his money into an effort to stop Australia’s biggest power company from spewing carbon. Learn more here.

Discoveries and Innovations

New research suggests California can make its power grid 85% clean energy by 2030 without sacrificing reliability.

Global average temperatures now have about a fifty-fifty chance of temporarily rising above 1.5 degrees Celsius beyond pre-industrial levels within five years, according to a new report from the World Meteorological Organization.

A group of engineers from MIT and the Technical University of Munich have developed a Fuel cell which could use sugar from a person’s body to power sensors and medical implants.

Researchers at University of Tokyo have developed a biodegradable coating that gives paper bags the sealing qualities of plastic bags without sacrificing flexibility.

Sustainability Deals of the Week

Based in London Clean carbonwhich develops point-source carbon capture systems for heavy industry, announced Wednesday that it has raised a $150 million Series C funding round led by Chevron.

Based in San Francisco shiny seed just closed a $68 million Series B round at a $300 million valuation. The company uses AI to find useful chemicals in plants that can be used for pharmaceuticals or other purposes.

Norwegian Carbon Capture Company Scuba diving suit just closed a $10 million seed round, aimed at growing its team and delivering its first commercial pilot.

on the horizon

Next week, the UN Forum on Sustainable Energy for All kicks off in Kigali, Rwanda. According to the organizers, the forum “serves as a platform to negotiate new partnerships, stimulate investments, address challenges and drive action” towards a transition to cleaner energy.

What else we read this week

Rechargeable molten salt battery freezes energy in place for long-term storage (Scientific American)

India heatwave could worsen global food crisis (Atlantic)

Cities Let Plants Go Wild For ‘No Mow May’ (Popular Science)

Green Transportation Update

Jthe electric vehicle revolution is far bigger than the electric pickups of Teslas and Fords as the world’s leading manufacturers of heavy-duty trucks and powertrains, including Navistar, Daimler, Cummins, Hyundai and VOLVO also intend to disrupt their industry with next-generation battery and hydrogen models that reduce carbon pollution and exhaust emissions. A stone’s throw from the sprawling ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, North America’s largest cargo container terminals, truck manufacturers, and engine and energy companies have filled the Long Beach Convention Center at the ‘Advanced Clean Transportation Expo this week to debut, display and test dozens of medium-duty and heavy-duty electric commercial truck models, many of which will enter service at these Southern California ports first.

The great history of transport

Tesla sales in China take a hit as Covid lockdown drags on

Speaking of You’re here, the global leader in electric vehicles is facing headaches in China, the market that underpins its profitability. Elon Musk has sought to play down concerns about the electric carmaker’s operations in China after a three-week shutdown of its Shanghai factory, but sales and production there are currently down. Learn more here.

More green transport news

2022 Ford F-150 Lightning First Drive: A Well-Made Electric Pickup

Can the Genesis GV60 electric SUV live with the German competition?

Harley’s ‘LiveWire’ launches its second electric model, the 80hp S2 Del Mar

Rivian Hits New Low, Shares Plunge Nearly 20% as Early Investors Unload Shares in ‘Rough Market’

For more sustainability coverage, click here.

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