The minerals inside them are the preserve of our second tycoon, Robert Friedland. But his investments in battery metals, made through holdings like Ivanhoe Mines, make him look greener today. His joint-venture with Chinese investors is working on metal sulphates for lithium-ion cells. Wang Chuanfu is the closest China has to Mr Musk.
BYD , the company he founded in , started out making rechargeable batteries. Today its sprawling campus in Shenzhen shows off solar cells, electric cars, heavy machinery, mobile-phone components and much else besides that needs energy storage.
Like Messrs Musk, Friedland and Wang, others from our list joined the ranks of tycoons by seeing their ideas mature. His company, Cosan, produces sugar and, through a joint-venture with Royal Dutch Shell, an Anglo-Dutch energy giant, sugar-cane ethanol. In Germany Aloys Wobben, who built his first wind turbine at university and later developed a pioneering variable-speed model, turned Enercon, which he created in , into a leading producer of such equipment. A second group of moguls funnels money made elsewhere into climatically noble projects seeking scale.go site
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It should start construction in Or take Bill Joy, who co-founded Sun Microsystems. As befits a self-assured Silicon Valley software pioneer, he reckons his climate bets could tackle half of all annual greenhouse-gas emissions. In he backed Beyond Meat, a maker of plant-based alternatives to burgers; meat production accounts for LafargeHolcim, a Franco-Swiss cement colossus, is helping commercialise it. When it comes to moonshots, though, it is hard to beat Mr Gates.
This week the co-founder of Microsoft told the Financial Times that those who want to change the world should stop wasting time urging investors to dump fossil-fuel stocks and put their money and energy behind disruptive technologies. Literally, in the case of Carbon Engineering, a company working to turn CO 2 in the air to fuel.
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Because its carbon is being taken from the atmosphere, it has no net-effect on the atmospheric stock when burned. He co-founded TerraPower, which has developed a new type of nuclear reactor. Investments include Boston Metal which aims to decarbonise steelmaking and Commonwealth Fusion Systems which is pursuing nuclear fusion. The last kind of climate tycoon does not seek returns, at least directly.
Our twelfth apostle of climate action is not himself deep-pocketed. Our list is necessarily incomplete. Other fat cats back clean investments. So do firms, even historically carbon-cuddling ones like GM , whose carmaking prowess may do more to popularise EV s than Tesla, or McDermott, which builds oil rigs but whose subsidiary has put money in NET Power, a builder of power plants in which carbon dioxide released by burning natural gas in pure oxygen is heated and then used instead of steam to turn a turbine with any excess captured.
Many clean bets continue to rely on tax breaks, subsidies or the prospect of high carbon prices. Plenty will fail in the marketplace. But some may succeed. Without creative destruction powered by climate capitalists, including profit-seeking ones, safeguarding the planet would be considerably more daunting than it already is. Join them.
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