Climate

Reversing global heating

Creating ventures that optimise for degrees of global heating averted
Our thesis in Climate is to work backwards from human needs such as shelter, energy and food to identify the technology combinations with the highest long run efficiencies and the steepest learning rates.

Multiple exponential trends are coalescing to unlock rapid global decarbonisation. The fundamental technologies driving this have been exhibiting Wright’s Law for decades: the falling cost of solar and wind, the falling cost of energy storage (both batteries and hydrogen), the falling cost of engineering biology for mass production. These are each compound trends, themselves made up of sub-trends exhibiting exponential learning rates, and the long term resource requirements of the products built to run on these tailwinds are lower than anything imaginable under a petrochemical paradigm.

Nevertheless, adoption of new technologies with much greater long term potential is bottlenecked by vicious cycles perpetuated by conservative incumbents blinded by the innovator’s dilemma. The world is slow to awake to exponentials, and slower to awake to their convergence. There is no panacea technology that will fix everything, no “silver bullet”—rather, the transition will be from a mix of hydrocarbons to a mix of renewables and low-carbon fuels, supported by remediation of historic emissions. All must progress in parallel, as an ecosystem.

Moreover, despite the obvious long term optimality of renewable strategies in industry, decarbonisation will be only one part of a global effort to avert each and every fraction of a degree of heating beyond pre-industrial levels, but we acknowledge now that a broader suite of emergency technologies must be developed in parallel if we want to avoid irreversible damage. These include approaches that, for example, combine carbon dioxide removal with managing solar radiation, radical approaches to sink excess heat, ecosystem-scale engineering and beyond.

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Areas of venture creation:

Design biotic paths to capture and store Co2

Problem to solve

We’re investigating ways of engineering biology to increase the permanence of the carbon dioxide removed from the atmosphere, such as by forming soil carbon at greater depths, e.g. by increasing their lignin content, by promoting the production of decay inhibitors or by optimising plant-microbe interactions, or else to otherwise increase the formation of highly stable organic compounds which store carbon long after the rest of the organism has decayed.

Reason to solve

Photosynthesis is the most important CO2 drawdown mechanism today with a net drawdown capacity of around 9.5 Gt/yr CO2, where CO2 is converted to biomass. Biology was once responsible lowering global temperatures to the point of inducing an ice age. The dynamic, self-replicating and intrinsically carbon intensive nature of biological processes makes them an ideal candidate for mopping up the glut of atmospheric carbon we’ve unwittingly produced.

Dynamically rebalance disequilibrium in global commons stocks

Problem to solve

Our economy does not price environmental cost into the goods and services it produces. Instead, businesses are incentivised to produce as cheaply as possible, with pollution and environmental degradation being external costs borne by society. This problem manifests because we cannot and do not effectively track those free-riding on natural resource stocks, and have chosen so far not to price or assign responsibility for these stocks, and have relied on the slow creep of regulated markets to correct this.

Reason to solve

Markets, regulations and traditional activism have failed to move us fast enough. It’s time to explore radical alternative mechanisms that can coordinate us with the urgency required to avert mass climate-related refugee crises and the irrecoverable destruction of land and biodiversity that will undermine human productivity for centuries.

Industrial Heat

Problem to solve

Heating industrial processes using fossil-fuel combustion makes up nearly two-thirds of industrial energy demand and almost one-fifth of global energy consumption yet are incredibly hard to abate. At the moment, companies currently typically rely on offsets to compensate for heat related emissions.

Reason to solve

Aspects that make substantial innovation in this sector difficult include high sunk cost, low potential for cost saving through operational efficiency, long sales cycles as well as a high degree of integration between heating appliances and industrial processes, making them difficult to be replaced.

Available opportunities

Associate, New Venture Creation in Climate

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Founder, Sequester billion tons of CO2 while cleaning up hazardous legacy mines

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Head of Business Development and Venture Portfolio (Climate)

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Our companies

  • climate
  • Pre-seed
The world’s 1st self-driving lab for CO2 utilisation R&D

Opportunity

Solution

  • climate
  • Pre-seed
Converting wastewater treatment into a carbon neutral and net energy positive industry

Opportunity

Solution

  • climate
  • Pre-seed
Direct Air Capture optimised for scale and supply chain stability

Opportunity

Solution

  • climate
  • Seed
World’s first high pressure, ultra-efficient electrolyser

Opportunity

Solution

  • climate
  • Seed
Direct Air Capture optimised for deployability and energy-efficiency

Opportunity

Solution

  • climate
  • Seed
Next generation of mineral-based building insulation

Opportunity

Solution

  • climate
  • Series A
AI-driven exploration for the critical minerals required to advance the energy transition

Opportunity

Solution

  • climate
  • Seed
Direct Air Capture optimised for minimum efficient scale and maximum theoretical efficiency

Opportunity

Solution

  • climate
  • Seed
Mechanical motion reinvented

Opportunity

Solution

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