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Weekly Briefing: July 17-21, 2023

Week of July 17, 2023

US, China Aim to Revive Climate Cooperation as Tensions Simmer

  • The United States and China will look to revive efforts to combat global warming this week, in bilateral meetings that observers hope will raise the bar on ambitions ahead of UN-sponsored climate talks in late 2023.

  • The talks follow two other high-level U.S. visits to China this year, as the world's largest greenhouse gas emitters work to stabilize a relationship strained by trade disputes, military tensions, and accusations of spying.

  • Talks between the U.S. and China have a history of boosting global climate negotiations, including setting the foundation for the Paris climate accord in 2015, when governments agreed to limit the industrial-era rise in global temperatures to 1.5 C.


House Passes FAA Bill With $20 Billion for Airport Construction Grants

  • The U.S. House has approved a five-year reauthorization bill for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) programs, which includes a $20 billion allocation to finance infrastructures – such as runways and aprons – under the FAA’s Airport Improvement Program (AIP).

  • This legislation – deemed essential for America's airport infrastructure, the economy, and the country's leadership in aviation – represents a 19% hike from the previous $3.35 billion annual authorization in the 2018 FAA measure.

  • The overall cost of the bill is estimated to be $108 billion and would be subject to annual appropriations. Congress must approve this new FAA bill by Sept. 30 before the current law expires.


The Biggest Winners in America’s Climate Law: Foreign Companies

  • The 2022 climate law unleashed a torrent of government subsidies to help the U.S. build clean-energy industries. The biggest beneficiaries so far are foreign companies.

  • The Inflation Reduction Act has spurred nearly $110 billion in U.S. clean-energy projects since it passed almost a year ago. Companies based overseas, largely from South Korea, Japan, and China, are involved in projects accounting for more than 60% of that spending.

  • The climate law is designed to build up domestic supply chains for green-energy industries, but the reality is that the technology for building batteries and renewable-energy equipment resides overseas. The incentives are leading these companies to invest in the U.S., often alongside domestic businesses.

July 12, 2023

Bow River Capital, a Denver-based alternative asset manager, has made a majority investment in Vitruvi Software (Vitruvi), a Canada-based construction management software company that has built cloud-based and geospatial-focused solutions for powering digital construction management in the network, power and utility sectors. The significant investment from Bow River will enable the Company to accelerate growth, rapidly deliver innovations within its product suite, and scale globally across every dimension. Bow River’s Software Growth Equity Team’s acquisition furthers the commitment to digitising the construction industry and allows the potential to leverage further operational expertise and resources.


July 13, 2023

The Vertex Companies, LLC (Vertex), a Massachusetts-based provider of Forensic, Engineering, Construction, Environmental, and Digital solutions backed by Wind Point Partners, has acquired Breakwater Forensics, LLC (Breakwater), an Illinois-based expert witness and business consulting firm. Through this acquisition, Vertex enhances its team of skilled professionals and broadens its ability to provide expert forensic consulting and testimony services.


July 17, 2023

Terraphase Engineering Inc. (Terraphase), a California-based environmental engineering and design firm, has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Robinson Noble, a Washington-based environmental consulting firm providing services in environmental characterization and remediation, water resources, water rights, and geotechnical engineering. The acquisition provides opportunities for both firms to combine their expertise and expand their offerings to private and public sector clients. “I have no doubt that the merger of Robinson Noble and Terraphase Engineering will be of mutual benefit to our clients,” said Jim Hay, president of Robinson Noble.


July 17, 2023

A2H, a Tennessee-based planning and design firm of architects, engineers, landscape architects, interior designers, and land surveyors, has acquired King Engineering Consultants, a Tennessee-based engineering firm serving clients across rural West Tennessee. The acquisition of King Engineering Consultants expands A2H’s capacity to serve clients in the public sector, particularly for municipal clients in waste and wastewater improvement projects.


July 18, 2023

Magnolia River Services (Magnolia River), an Alabama-based utility professional and field services firm with expertise in Engineering, Inspection, GIS, and Software, has acquired INTEGRI-TEK, a Texas-based provider of high-level GIS consulting, business intelligence, data management, and infrastructure project services, with a strong focus on midstream gas, liquids, renewables (including carbon capture), and the energy transition. The acquisition of INTEGRI-TEK aligns with Magnolia River’s strategic plan and expands its service capabilities – particularly for its GIS solutions – to enhance value for its clients in the gas, liquids, power, and renewables markets.

The HDR Foundation (HDR) sponsored a grant this year through the disAbilities Employee Network Group (ENG) for Camp UBU (read “you be you”). Employees spent the day with campers and led STEM activities Camp UBU provides opportunities for deaf and hard-of-hearing children to meet peers and adults who are like them, to be free of communication barriers, and improve confidence in themselves. HDR’s grant enriched the experience of campers with a new science, technology, engineering, and math program focused on the development of a pollinator habitat.


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