The climate crisis is dire, but consider this: Unravel Carbon, an AI-powered decarbonisation platform launched in 2022 and headquartered in Singapore, raised $10 million in less than four months during its seed round — the largest seed round ever raised by a climate tech start-up in Asia. It has even been accepted by Y Combinator, the start-up accelerator behind names like Airbnb, Stripe, Dropbox, and DoorDash.
Unravel Carbon is one of a slew of CO2-related companies that have popped up in recent years, but this is not surprising. Opportunity lurks in every challenge and Singapore is currently on a quest to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050. In other words, the nation hopes to remove the same amount of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere as it produces. The means are varied, and the solutions are being scrutinised. After all, this is a new frontier.
Saving Earth is a big business. McKinsey & Company estimates that the global required investments to bring about necessary transformations could reach US$9.2 trillion (S$12.3 trillion) annually until 2050. Of this, low-emissions assets such as renewable energy sources and infrastructure — electric light rail systems, energy-efficient buildings, waste-to-energy plants, and the like — will account for US$6.5 trillion.
Meanwhile, the increasing demand for net-zero products and services across sectors like transport, power, and carbon management could generate more than US$12 trillion in annual sales by 2030. As the global economy shifts into battling climate change mode, businesses must adjust to changes in fundamentals.
Demand for environmentally-friendly solutions and practices will increase as will pressure to shift capital from high-efficiency to energy-efficient activities, balance supply and demand, and maintain cost competitiveness.