Breakthrough Energy Catalyst, the public-private fund headed by Bill Gates, announced that it will invest $15 billion in startups that develop technologies with a positive impact on the environment, among which the Argentine Pachama stands out.
Created seven years ago by the founder of Microsoft, the investment fund aims to make donations to entrepreneurs that they work on direct air capture, a solution that seeks to eliminate carbon emissions from the atmosphere; green hydrogen; in energy storage; yen on sustainable jet fuel.
“We invest in clean innovations that have already demonstrated their potential on a small scale, but the reality is that at the moment the timeframes to scale their solutions are still too long. We believe that startups are at a critical moment and this capital can turn them into viable commercial products much more quickly,” they explained on the official Breakthrough Energy Catalyst site.
Currently, Gates’ idea has the financial backing of major investors such as BlackRock, General Motors, American Airlines, Boston Consulting Group, Bank of America and ArcelorMittal; who also believe that startups from clean energy They are critical for the environment.
In a nutshell, Breakthrough Energy Catalyst will invest in startups that develop green technologies to promote the arrival of its products and solutions to the market.
“These projects are huge and so they are going to require a lot of capital. They all need the intervention to be able to take them to this next stage of commercial demonstration and to start building markets,” the managing director of the Gates fund concluded.
Gates chose an Argentine startup. Reuters Photo
The Bill Gates fund project had the Argentine startup Pachama as one of its main beneficiaries. In May 2021, the young company closed a US$15 million investment round, which included the participation of Gates’ Breakthrough Energy Ventures; Climate Pledge Fund, an Amazon investment fund; and the vice president of Uber, Ryan Graves.
This type of company is characterized by measuring how much carbon they emit and their environmental impact and offsetting their footprint by buying bonds, as in this case from Pachama. Once these credits are acquired, the Argentine startup plants trees and reforests a forest.
Once planted in various regions around the planet, such as Peru, the Congo and Indonesia, companies can track the growth of the forest using satellite images.
The weather, another of his concerns
Global warming critical. AFP Photo
Global warming critical. AFP Photo
Meanwhile, Gates continues with his foundation focusing on climate change. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced late last year at COP2 that Europe will aim to bring new climate technologies to market faster under a €1 billion public-private investment scheme.
The EU Catalyst programme, launched in partnership with Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and the European Investment Bank, will finance and commercialize innovative clean technologies, like green hydrogen.
“It is innovation that opens the way,” Von der Leyen said of the program, under which he would fund “innovation of industries, revolutionary innovation, to bring the newer climate technologies to market in Europe.
“Innovation is leading the way, this is what our citizens want and we will not let them down,” said von der Leyen. For his part, Gates explained that “new technologies, new policies, new markets are useful.”
“This requires a significant investment in the partnership between the public and private sectors. Europe demonstrated a constant commitment to the climate, from the beginning,” added the founder of Microsoft during the presentation press conference, defining it as “a great example” the “Fit for 55” package.