Kat Friedrich

Kat Friedrich
News Editor at Clean Energy Finance Forum and Conservation Finance Network

A former mechanical engineer with graduate training in journalism and environmental studies, Kat Friedrich is a self-employed news editor with expertise in energy, sustainability and technology.

In collaboration with graduate students and staff, Kat is expanding the articles, infographics and videos published by Clean Energy Finance Forum and Conservation Finance Network. These sites are experimenting with the latest innovations in online media and environmental communication. Both sites are using a "solutions journalism" approach to producing cutting-edge, pragmatic business news.

Yale University brought Clean Energy Finance Forum on board after Kat built its initial iteration for a small national NGO, Clean Energy Finance Center. The website has been growing since 2012.

Kat has also edited two magazines: BuildingEnergy and Renewable Energy World Magazine. Her reporting has appeared in Midwest Energy News, Scientific American, Earth Island Journal, and many other publications. She is a local co-organizer of Online News Association Western New England and the former organizer of NetSquared Boston.

Kat holds a master’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Nelson Institute. Her thesis analyzed media framing of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge energy resources debate.

For close to two years, Kat worked for American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy on website strategy, technical writing, and environmental psychology research.

For four years, Kat was a writer and editor at the Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching and Learning, a national initiative advancing diversity-friendly teaching techniques in science, technology, engineering and mathematics at colleges and universities.

As an engineer, Kat constructed parts for hybrid race cars before hybrid cars were on the market. She also built and tested HVAC systems to cool power electronics that were connected to utility power grids.

Authored Articles

Investing in Rainforests in the Global South

Funneling money toward forest conservation in the developing world may sound easier than it is. Once one gets into the weeds of implementing sustainable-forestry-finance frameworks like REDD+ at an international level, the challenges of climate finance come to the surface. This year, the game plan is changing to expand this financing space. United States nonprofits and investors will have new opportunities to help rainforest conservation flourish.
California building

Urban Forests Prune Health Care Costs

If you live in Northern California today, health researchers may be watching your house from above. This unprecedented project is tracking the impact of urban forestry on health expenses by correlating trees’ locations with medical data from Kaiser Permanente. The researchers’ goal is to advocate on Capitol Hill for nationwide investment in urban forestry to prune medical costs. They also plan to develop an online cost savings estimation tool that communities throughout the United States can use.
Lake Titicaca, Peru

Root Capital and Kiva Share Agriculture-Financing Resources

Unexpectedly, Root Capital and Kiva have joined forces to create an unprecedented referral system that will cross-pollinate their sustainable agriculture-finance programs. Root Capital is routing approved applications in the $10,000-$50,000 range to Kiva for zero-percent-interest financing. Once these businesses grow, they can apply for larger amounts of financing at competitive interest rates from Root Capital.
Madagascar gecko

UN Forest Conservation Program Emerges after a Rocky Start

REDD+ forest conservation funding for developing nations has dropped precipitously over the last two years, according to a report from Overseas Development Institute and Heinrich Boll Stiftung, “10 Things to Know about Climate Finance in 2016.” But according to Mario Boccucci, head of the UN-REDD Programme Secretariat, “The current level of public-sector donor pledging to forest systems and REDD+ is unprecedented. Germany, United Kingdom, and Norway have pledged $5 billion USD for the period 2016 through 2020.” He said REDD+ is taking off now after a challenging few years of development.

The Global Ambitions of the Land Degradation Neutrality Fund

When the quality of land degrades, environmental, social and economic opportunities evaporate. The United Nations is working to prevent land degradation globally. In this interview, Simone Quatrini, Land Degradation Neutrality Fund coordinator and team leader at the Global Mechanism of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification, said his program is attempting a worldwide conservation finance effort. There is massive work to be done.
Camelback Bridge stretches over a river in North Carolina

Camelback Bridge stretches over a river in North Carolina.

Wells Fargo Funds Minority-Owned Green Businesses in North Carolina

After decades of underinvestment, African-American farmers and small business owners in North Carolina will now receive green enterprise loans from Natural Capital Investment Fund. The award of $1.6 million, announced on May 3, is part of a much larger program by Wells Fargo that seeks to fill part of the huge void in bank financing of minority-owned businesses.

Stormwater Credits in D.C. Could Provide a Blueprint for Other Cities

Taking advantage of a unique credit-trading program in Washington, D.C. that could be replicated in other cities, The Nature Conservancy has partnered with Encourage Capital and Prudential Financial to set up a $1.7-million loan for stormwater management to protect the Potomac and Anacostia rivers. The investment will reduce water pollution, develop rain gardens, and cool urban heat islands. It will also prevent flooding due to climate change and severe weather.

Colorful Software Facilitates Corporate Conservation Investment

It can be a murky process for managers to delve into the performance of their corporate investments in environmental conservation and track their outcomes. Now, two tools, IRIS and iPAR, can work together to provide a visually attractive way to watch how these investments are performing. iPAR was released for public use on April 26.