Climate Tech

2000 new jobs: The climate tech report every Australian politician needs to read

- June 29, 2022 3 MIN READ
The Climate Salad team: Charlotte Connell, Mick Liubinskas, Jess Taylor and Olivia Utharntharm.
Australia’s nascent climate tech sector is already worth $4.2 billion and could deliver more than 2,000 new jobs in next 12 months, according to a landmark new report by Climate Salad.

ANZ Climate Tech Industry Report, which surveyed nearly 171 climate-focused startups in Australian and New Zealand paints a picture of an industry that’s just getting started, but already employs 4000 people and could generate billions of dollars in export revenue.

Climate Salad, co-founded by Mick Liubinskas and Charlotte Connell a year ago, is a network of 200 companies and 500 entrepreneurs, mentors, investors, corporate and others designed to boos ANZ climate tech companies with tools, programs and community support to address climate change.

Among its resources is a list of climate tech investors.

Liubinskas, Climate Salad’s CEO, said there are three critical takeaways from the report that represent a “triple win” for the environment, society and the economy when it comes to investing in climate technology and the supporting ecosystem

“We will contribute to getting the planet back to sustainability. We will elevate our research and innovation sectors. We will create a strong economy and a million new jobs for the future,” he said.

“This report shows really clearly that Australia and New Zealand already has a strong climate tech industry. The opportunity for here is to support it and invest in it so we can create more jobs, more innovation and more climate impact.”

Charlotte Connell, Climate Salad’a Ecosystem Director, said: “Climate Technology plays a crucial role in solving the most pressing challenge of our time and equally represents an enormous economic opportunity.”

Together they’ve set a 2030 ambition to help these companies reduce or remove nearly 1,000 gigatonnes of CO2 from the atmosphere amid other bold ambitions for the network.

“I started Climate Salad with the 2030 mission to help 1,000 climate tech companies and have at least 10 become global successes,” Liubinskas said.

Investment opportunity

Climate Salad program manager and industry report lead Olivia Utharntharm said they defined climate tech as a scalable tech-enabled solution that reduces, avoids or removes emissions, or helps mitigate/adapt to the effects of changing climate.

“In order to support this climate technology, we need to understand the industry in which they operate, the forces in play and the opportunity gaps to fill,”  she said.

The largest sectors in climate tech are are data and finance, circular economy and agrifood. Biosphere is the smallest sector. The impact goals of the companies are dominated by carbon reduction at 48%.

Despite just starting out – 83% of companies featured in the report are at pre-seed or seed stage, while 17% have raised Series A or B – local climate tech startups have raised a combined $1.4 billion in capital in the last 12 months, including $700 million from international investors.

Wollemi Capital managing director Paul Hunyor said a massive injection of venture capital will be needed to help those startups scale rapidly.

“Reaching our decarbonisation goals requires transformation of every sector of the global economy, and an estimated US$10 trillion per annum of investment is required to fund this transition over the next 30,” he said.

Going global

There is a fairly even spread of companies across stages of growth with 27% at prototype and 16% at scale and they already has a global focus, with 90% of startups already operating in at least one international market or looking to expand offshore.

There’s also a high level of innovation, with 38% of startups developing new IP and 31% using patents.

NSW has the lion’s share of the sector with 38% of companies headquartered in the state, 22% in Victoria, 13% in Queensland and 7% in New Zealand.

And women feature strongly in climate tech, in stark contrast to startup sector more broadly, with 39.7% of the startups involved having at least one female founder.

Future Super CTO Stephen Jackal said this is the last generation with the time to solve the climate crisis.

“But the good news is we actually have the technology to do so. It is going to take both technology and people power to combat the climate crisis, and we’ve got to start today,” he said.

“Change requires all of us to take collective action.”

You can read more on the ANZ Climate Tech Industry Report here.