Jeff Bezos, the worlds richest man, has pleded $10bn of his fortune to establish a fund to help fight climate change.
Prof Dave Reay, Chair in Carbon Management, Executive Director of Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation, University of Edinburgh, said:
“It’s an awful lot of money. But then tackling climate change is an awfully big and expensive challenge. $10 billion can certainly make a real impact and it’s great to see the focus will be on enhancing existing solutions, as well as discovering new ones. Many emerging technologies, like Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS), need a financial shot in the arm to get them scaled up fast. Other solutions, like expansion of climate-smart farming or universal waste water treatment, may be less eye-catching but they are no less crucial in terms of cutting emissions and providing greater resilience to the impacts of climate change.”
Prof Richard Templer, Director of Innovation, Grantham Institute – Climate Change and the Environment, Imperial College London, said:
“I am of course delighted to see Mr Bezos pledge to support action on climate change. It is not clear to me precisely where he will seek to deploy support although there are broad hints in his statement, so here are some somewhat cheeky suggestions.
“1. Focus on some really big impacts. Be daring.
“2. Support areas of innovation where the science demands action but markets do not yet exist. Markets are behind the curve.
“For me there are two things that fit the bill and that need to generate impact at scale within the next 10 years:
“1. Ways of removing CO2 from the air safely and at scale. There’re around 1 trillion tonnes to remove by 2100. And this is in addition to massive CO2 emissions reduction not instead of.
“2. Ways to avoid large scale species extinctions. Returning habitats at scale is important for all species, including homo sapiens, and has direct benefits for reducing atmospheric CO2 and global heating.”
Prof Dave Reay: “No interests declared.”
None others received.