Green.Org sits down with Nadav Steinmetz, the founder and CEO of Nomea, a climate-tech investment fund focused on technologies that reduce CO2 in the atmosphere to share why we should be investing in cleantech companies and how it will impact our future.
Nadav, thank you for being here. Tell us a little bit about you and your background:
I am the founder and CEO of Nomea, a climate-tech investment fund focused on technologies that reduce CO2 in the atmosphere. Our core belief is that purpose and profit can go hand in hand, and therefore, we invest in sustainable and scalable businesses that will accelerate the world’s transition to net zero emissions. We embrace a collaborative work culture, and feel extremely fortunate to support our portfolio companies in whatever areas needed, from strategy and partnerships to hiring and fundraising.
My professional background is in private equity, venture capital and real estate, mainly working in New York and London, broadening my investment expertise ahead of founding Nomea. I also hold a B.A in Economics and Philosophy from Columbia University, where I co-founded a nonprofit organization called One for the World Columbia, which encourages students to pledge 1% of their future income to highly effective charities.
Looking ahead, decarbonization of the world’s economy may present as the biggest challenge of our lifetime. However, this vast technological transformation of major industries, transitioning from fossil fuel to clean energy, also presents immense opportunities for new innovations and green technologies.
What is a fun fact about you?
I was always very interested in geography and this was one of my biggest passions growing up. As a child, I constantly tried to memorize the capital cities of the world’s 195 countries. I collected various types of maps and globes and my favorite bedtime routine was learning a new capital city every night.
Why do you think climate change and sustainability is such an important topic today?
Our planet is getting warmer, mostly due to emissions from human activity such as burning fossil fuels and deforestation. To avoid the disastrous effects of climate change, and limit the rise in global temperature to 1.5 Celsius degrees we must act now. The latest report by the UN backed Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), highlights that some impacts are already irreversible and that unless we reduce global emissions at an unprecedented speed and scale, we face major additional risks.
At Nomea, it’s clear to us that the clock is ticking and as we transition towards net zero, we will witness perhaps the largest set of changes we have ever experienced; from coal and oil to wind and solar, from internal combustion engine cars to electric vehicles, from meat and dairy products to plant-based alternatives, and the list goes on.
We invest in groundbreaking climate innovations that will advance the world’s transition to a low carbon economy, and we believe that it is paramount to do so now. We are delighted to see more and more investors and entrepreneurs care deeply about climate change and sustainability, and undoubtedly this trend will only grow in the coming years and decades.
What do you envision your industry looking like 10 years from now?
2021 was an inflection point for climate investment. According to analysis by PwC, H1 2021 set a record for climate-tech investment levels, with over $60bn of funding across 600 deals representing a 200% YoY growth. This is only the tip of the iceberg as trillions of dollars will have to be allocated to climate to enable the world’s decarbonization.
To reach carbon neutrality by mid-century, the world needs to cut emissions in half by 2030 – this should be our guiding principal. As an optimist, I believe this is achievable, however, this will require global cooperation and significant changes in our day-to-day lives. Governments and corporations across the world have already set major emissions reduction goals and now is the time to act upon them.
Others have said this before, but it is our belief that the next 1,000 unicorns will be climate-tech startups. We will see tremendous amounts of capital flowing into the space, new exciting sustainable startups emerging, and most importantly, less emissions into the atmosphere.
What can the average person do to make a difference?
There are many things that each one of us can do to make the world a more sustainable place. First, we have to make sure climate change remains high on the agenda of world leaders, policymakers, and large and small corporations. Second, embrace the notion of circularity in everyday life. Recycle or donate food, clothes, electronics and other possessions that may be valuable to other members of your community. Third, think carefully about your consumption. Around one third of total food production is wasted every year. This involves emissions in every step of the process (livestock, farming) and can be eliminated. Fourth, do not underestimate your power as consumers. Consider purchasing green products and services where possible to minimize your carbon footprint, and try to offset your emissions when you fly or engage in other activities that emit greenhouse gases.
The above are only a handful of examples of how we as individuals can make a difference. However, there are many other avenues, including policy, innovation, public campaigns and others. At Nomea, beyond investing in climate technologies, we are always keen to hear more from, and collaborate with, individuals who share our mission and values. Please reach out if you are interested in applying to one of our available positions or seek other ways to cooperate to protect our planet.