From wildfires in Australia to floods in Europe, societies are already feeling the impacts of climate change. Halving global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2050 is arguably one of humankind’s greatest innovation challenges. As natural-born problem solvers, startups have stepped up to the plate and are playing a fundamental role in the transition to a greener, more sustainable future.
Spurred by the Paris Climate Agreement of 2015, governments and businesses across all sectors have intensified their efforts in cutting GHG emissions. The European Union has demonstrated its commitment to becoming a climate neutral continent through the European Green Deal. This deal serves as the EU’s flagship growth strategy to transition into a modern, resource-efficient and competitive economy. Achieving ambitious targets rests on reimagining current ways of working and leveraging new technologies that support a green transition. Innovation from startups is one of our biggest allies in the fight against climate change. Here are a few examples of what startups are doing in the field of sustainability:
Today, aviation is the fastest-growing source of greenhouse gas emissions. By 2050, its share of climate impact is expected to be between 25-50%. There is an urgent need to transition towards green aviation in order to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. ZeroAvia is a startup working on enabling scalable, sustainable aviation by replacing conventional engines with hydrogen-electric powertrains. Hydrogen-electric powertrains offer a long range, lower fuel and maintenance costs, and zero emissions. Two years away from becoming commercial, solutions such as ZeroAvia address one of the largest carbon-emitting sectors worldwide – a step towards achieving global climate targets.
Currently, livestock is responsible for nearly 15% of all greenhouse gas emissions. Cattle feeding requires large areas of land and high volumes of water, with the digestion process releasing significant quantities of methane into our atmosphere. To overcome such challenges, startup Mirai Foods cultivates beef and meat from animal cells. With the extraction of stem cells, the startup is able to mature raw beef in an environmental, ethical, and economically sustainable way – thereby accelerating the transition to a global food system that is better for people, animals, and our planet.
As the world starts to turn its back on fossil fuels, there is an urgent need to explore how populations can create and harness energy in a sustainable and efficient manner. Startup Hexicon works in renewable energy with its patented TwinWind technology. Hexicon’s wind-based floating platforms increase the energy yield per sea area, maximizing the power of wind – while limiting the amount of cabiling, number of foundations, and reducing overall costs. Its deployable design echoes the potential of renewable technologies in global energy generation.
At Allied for Startups we believe startups and entrepreneurs have a fundamental role to play in the transition to a greener, more sustainable future. What these startups are doing exemplifies just how important innovation is in finding solutions to global challenges. For technologies such as these to scale, we urge policy makers to consider startup perspectives to facilitate a regulatory environment that promotes entrepreneurship and innovation.