What do you do when the leader of the free world seems keen to stunt work tackling climate change? Well, if you’re a billionaire, you take things into your own hands.
That’s exactly what a group of 20 investors has done, including Bill Gates, Richard Branson, and Jeff Bezos. They’ve set up the $1 billion Breakthrough Energy Ventures fund, which is going to start making investments in technologies that reduce greenhouse gas emissions starting in 2017.
“The global energy market is currently sized at 6 trillion dollars, and energy demand is expected to grow by one-third by 2040,” the group write on their website.
“In addition, the urgency of climate change and the commitment of countries around the world to limit emissions requires an aggressive global push for zero-emission energy innovation.”
This fund is part of the Breakthrough Energy Coalition, which Gates started with others in December 2015. Now, the plan is to run this latest fund for the next 20 years to invest in a broad range of companies, from start-ups to established enterprises.
The group has a combined total wealth of $170 billion, which might make it the wealthiest group of investors ever assembled. They are going to invest across a number of areas, including electricity generation, agriculture, and transportation.
“Anything that leads to cheap, clean, reliable energy we’re open-minded to,” Gates told Quartz.
Gates, of course, is known for his philanthropic efforts, investing heavily in things like a cure for malaria and polio vaccines with his wife Melinda, as part of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
So, even if Trump is doing his best to accelerate climate change, it’s good to know there are some rational people out there with a fair bit of money who can help.