Condoleezza Rice joins stealth carbon startup

Matt Bowman · December 30, 2009 · Short URL:

Secretive C3 lands $26M, high-profile politicians in the weeks following Copenhagen Summit

 Climate change legislation has had a rough month. Climategate, large protests at the Copenhagen Climate Summit and the U.N.’s failure to forge a meaningful agreement there have put a damper on the climate-change public opinion crusade.

But that’s not stopping two high-profile Republicans from joining the board of a stealth startup that aims to manage emissions for corporations—a model that appears to bank on Cap-and-Trade legislation.

Three SEC forms filed over the last two weeks show former Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice and former Senator and Secretary of Energy Spencer Abraham have joined the board of C3, a mysterious startup founded by Thomas Siebel, former CEO of Siebel Systems which was bought by Siebel’s previous employer Oracle for $5.7 billion in 2005.

The filings also reveal $26 million of investment.

In addition to the two politicians, Siebel has brought on Jay Dweck, a Managing Director and Global Head of Strategies and Technology for the Institutional Securities Group at Morgan Stanley. Dan Levine points out that Dweck could be helpful in the creation of a market for carbon securities.

Rounding out the team are former Siebel Systems and Oracles executives Patricia House and Edward Abbo, which suggests the company is developing enterprise software.

 On the company’s sparse website C3 describes itself as an “Energy and Emissions Management” company. Add the high-profile politicians (who were undoubtedly talking it up at Copenhagen recently with other world leaders), the Wall Street securities expert, enterprise software pros and “emissions management” and you get what looks like a technology company aiming to become the go-to monitor of emissions and a key component to a carbon credit exchange.

Cap-and-Trade legislation, whereby corporations are given a set number of carbon emission “credits” that can then be bought and sold, are in effect in Europe, and have been the subject of congressional debate in the U.S.. A climate bill that passed the House earlier this year calls for the creation of an economy-wide market for greenhouse gas emissions, but the issue has stalled in the Senate where health care and jobs stimulus concerns have pushed emissions regulation to the back burner.

Support VatorNews by Donating

Read more from our "Trends and news" series

More episodes