Wicked Problems
Wicked Problems - Climate Tech Conversations (Subscriber Feed)
What's the IRR of a seawall?

What's the IRR of a seawall?

At Adapt Your World 24 in Munich, we hear from Cleantech Group CEO Richard Youngman, Ororatech cofounder Thomas Grübler, and many more on investing in climate adaptation.

Adaptation and resilience may be the Final Frontier of climate tech. Until recently even talking about it openly was taboo. But can climate adaptation be investible? And if we start talking about it openly - and shifting investment in that direction - does that starve other mitigation pathways of capital?

Previous guest Ulrich Seitz, in just a few weeks after we spoke to him in November 2023, put together one of the first dedicated conferences just about climate adaptation investing - Adapt Your World 24, at the beautiful Nymphenburg Palace in Munich, last month.

As Julio Friedmann - aka “the carbon wrangler” - said last week to Shayle Kann on Catalyst, most questions in climate come down to “who pays?”.

Ulrich kindly let us come as a guest to the event, which featured more than 70 funders and founders looking at adaptation as an investment theme.


  • Cleantech Group CEO Richard Youngman, who has analysed the investment and innovation landscape of climate tech since before it was called that - and get his views on what the capital stack for adaptation might look like, whether there’s a climate tech “bubble” after some Indoor Farming and Alternative Protein companies left some investors feeling sore, and where he’s paying most attention.

  • Ororatech cofounder Thomas Grübler, a pioneer in using AI and satellite data to enhance efforts to control the wildfires that seem to grow each year in number, range, duration and intensity - costing up to 4% of GDP in just the US alone (see below).

Other clips:

We also bring you inside the Nymphenburg Palace to listen in on conversations around climate risk data, and VC and corporate investing:

Thanks for listening. You always get the best, ad-free listening experience to Wicked Problems - Climate Tech Conversations in this feed. But we’re also available on Apple, Spotify and most podcast platforms.

If you’re enjoying these conversations, consider becoming a paid subscriber at wickedproblems.earth to allow us to continue this work. And if you’re already a paid subscriber, thank you for your generosity.

Coming soon:

  • InnovationZero takeaways featuring Laura Fleming from our friends at Hitachi Energy

  • Anatol Lieven, fellow at the Quincy Institute, looks back on his counterintuitive book, Climate Change and the Nation State.

  • The State of Climate Litigation and Vermont’s “Climate Superfund” bill S.259

  • And tomorrow we’re off to the ClimateImpact Summit in Mayfair where we’ll be ferreting out more insights from the sector.

Wicked Problems
Wicked Problems - Climate Tech Conversations (Subscriber Feed)
A show about climate tech - the intersection of people, politics, technology, and capital that will help shape the future. And whether you'd want to live in it.