Climate Impact Investment Fund (CLIIF)
The growth of the renewable energy economy in recent years is impressive by any standards. While public and private investment have driven the expansion, private investment will need to remain robust to compensate for a decline in federal renewables subsidies: the renewable energy Production Tax Credit (PTC) expires in 2019, and Investment tax credits (ITCs) for commercial solar will be reduced from 30 to 10 percent. Meanwhile, Paul Hawken's Drawdown has provided a roadmap for investors with a decarbonization agenda through its Top 100 Solutions. Many of the most important solutions (the top nine would provide approximately 50 % of the total greenhouse gas reduction possible under the program’s top 100), including refrigeration management (#1), wind turbines (#2), solar power (#s 8 and10) are seeing continual innovation. The companies driving these innovations will benefit from venture capital as a safeguard against reduced subsidies. In addition, return on investment in significant Drawdown solutions should rise as the fossil fuel economy is phased out over the next few decades.
As Drawdown’s top solutions to climate change reveal, it will take more than investment in just renewable energy to keep us below the benchmark 2 degrees Celsius of warming. Companies working in refrigeration management, Drawdown’s #1 solution, will benefit from outside funding as they make the necessary transition in refrigerants from hyrdrofluorocarbons (HFCs) to ammonia and CO2 (which is a much less potent greenhouse gas than HFCs). A case in point is Chicago-area Zone Mechanical, which through the private equity engagement of TJM Capital Partners, is making just such a transition. CCA has entered into a partnership with TJM to create the Climate Impact Investment Fund (CLIIF), an initiative financed in part by membership that will support mid-course companies such as Zone, as well as renewables startups. Potential revenues from investments contributed by CCA members will be split approximately 80/20 between dividends to contributors, and donations to NGOs that represent non-commercial entries in Drawdown’s top 20 solutions (such as Educating Girls at #6 and Family Planning at #7).