Ninety percent of global companies recently surveyed by Ernst & Young were undertaking climate change initiatives, with disclosed financial commitments totaling $276 billion over the next ten years. Another Ernst & Young study revealed that 35% of corporate venture capital programs will increase their investments in cleantech companies next year and 44% within the next five years, supporting the finding that corporations are accelerating their climate change response. A third Ernst & Young study showed that 51% of institutional investors globally always or sometimes consider a company’s climate change response when considering investment in a new issue.
This accelerated corporate response to climate change is reflected in global venture capital investment trends. Ernst & Young’s Venture Insights reveal that as a proportion of global venture capital investment, cleantech has grown rapidly – up from just 1.6% of total investment in 2003 to 11% in 2008. And in terms of value, global venture capital investment in cleantech is set to significantly exceed the record $3 billion invested last year, having reached $2.2 billion in the first six months of 2008.
According to Ernst & Young’s Venture Insights, the U.S. accounted for the majority of venture capital investment during 2007 and the first half of 2008, raising $2.5 billion and $1.6 billion respectively. Europe, the second largest market, raised $443 million and $353 million over the same period. China increased from $30 million in 2007 to $84 million in the first half of 2008. And Israeli cleantech investment also accelerated rapidly, up from $4 million in 2006 to $134 million in the first half of 2008 (largely on the back of a $115m solar energy company mega-deal).