Composed of more than 25 investors who made their fortunes in technology, the Breakthrough Energy Coalition has pledged to speed up innovation by investing in clean energy startups. The investors include Reid Hoffman, founder of LinkedIn; Jack Ma, executive chair of e-commerce company Alibaba; and Meg Whitman, CEO of Hewlett Packard Enterprise. Mark Zuckerberg calls progress toward sustainable energy “too slow,” which is why the group believes private investors need to step in. The coalition was launched in November at the U.N. Climate Change Conference in Paris.
Leading the effort is Bill Gates, who is investing US $1 billion. Some observers are concerned that his vision for the coalition is too focused on innovations that will take time to develop instead of improving existing technologies. Others argue the money should go toward the deployment of available sustainable technologies rather than more R&D.
Do you believe the coalition can help slow climate change? What should it focus on?
This article appears in the March 2016 print issue as “Can Tech Moguls Slow Climate Change?”