Soros pledges money for clean energy and new Climate Policy Initiative


Alliance magazine


Financier and philanthropist George Soros has pledged to invest more than $1 billion (£625 million) in clean energy technology to tackle climate change. Speaking in Copenhagen last weekend, Soros also announced the foundation of the Climate Policy Initiative, which he will fund with $10 million annually for the next decade and which will be formally launched in Berlin next month. ‘There is no magic bullet for climate change, but there is a lethal bullet: coal.’

Soros, who already holds limited investments in clean coal technology ventures, explained he would apply ‘stringent conditions’ to the disbursement of the $1 billion. ‘I will look for profitable opportunities, but I will also insist that the investments make a real contribution to solving the problem of climate change.’

Meanwhile, the Climate Policy Initiative, to be based in San Francisco, will focus, he said, on the efficacy and implementation of policy, ‘to protect the public interest against special interests’. The organization will address issues such as carbon emissions trading and will almost certainly campaign against them, if Soros’s own attitude to emissions trading is any guide. He has said he prefers a greenhouse gas tax because emissions trading systems can be manipulated by investors. Speaking in poacher-turned-gamekeeper vein at a London School of Economics seminar in July, he remarked: ‘The system can be gamed; that’s why financial types like me like it – because there are financial opportunities.’ In his Copenhagen speech, and only eight weeks before world leaders gather in the same city to work out a new climate change agreement, Soros also put the ball firmly in their court: ‘Global warming is a political problem. The science is clear; what is less clear is whether world leaders will demonstrate the political will necessary to solve the problem.’

The Guardian, 11 October 2009, 11 October 2009

Tagged in: Climate change Climate Policy Initiative George Soros

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