By Andrew Nusca
Posting in Energy
Former British prime minister Tony Blair announced that he has joined Silicon Valley-based venture capital firm Khosla Ventures to oversee its green portfolio.
Officially, Blair will serve as senior public policy adviser for Khosla's stable of cleantech companies.
"I am increasingly and crucially aware of the fact that the answer to these twin challenges -- climate change and energy security -- lies in developing the technological solutions of the future," Blair said in a statement.
Founded in 2004 by Vinod Khosla, co-founder of Sun Microsystems, Khosla Ventures specializes in infotech and cleantech startups. The partnership allows the firm's "maintech" cleantech companies -- which focus on solar energy, batteries, biofuels, lighting and building materials -- to leverage Blair's visibility and global relationships for environmental issues.
Blair said in a statement:
Solving the climate crisis is more than just a political agenda item – it’s an urgent priority that requires innovation, creativity, and ambition. I share a clear vision with Vinod, one of the earliest leaders in cleantech investment, that entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley and beyond will have a tremendous impact on our environmental future. Vinod’s portfolio companies are galvanizing scientific and technological know-how into businesses that can make a huge difference in reducing carbon and other emissions, and I look forward to dedicating a portion of my time to help them move us toward a more sustainable tomorrow. The Khosla Ventures organization is particularly effective in assisting entrepreneurs to develop and deploy their technologies all over the world.
Blair leads the Breaking the Climate Deadlock initiative, in partnership with The Climate Group.
Khosla said in a lengthy statement:
I have always admired Mr. Blair’s early and consistent commitment to addressing climate change. His goals align so well with our own mission to support disruptive startups in the cleantech space and to find technology solutions that can achieve unsubsidized market competitiveness for green technologies. We believe in attempting to achieve the 'Chindia price point,' the price at which even developing countries will voluntarily adopt these carbon efficient technologies. It’s a price that is either cheaper than fossil alternatives or can achieve less than one year payback for efficiency investments, and is the key to scalable global adoption of environmentally beneficial technologies. With Tony's advice and influence, we will create opportunities for entrepreneurs and innovators to devise practical solutions that can solve today’s most pressing crisis at a global scale while creating new jobs, new businesses and new sources of sustainable growth. Many more Google, Apple and Facebook-like new companies will be created in the environmental space based on breakthrough black swan technologies.
Khosla's green portfolio includes Calera, which creates carbon-negative building products; solar company Cogenra; internal combustion engine specialists EcoMotors; biofuels firm KiOR; efficient HVAC developer New PAX; and LED and laser firm Soraa.
Blair accompanied Khosla yesterday to tour the Calera green cement demonstration plant in Moss Landing, Calif.
Charlie Cooper at CBSNews.com notes that Blair isn't the first elder statesman to go green -- former U.S. vice president Al Gore is a partner at influential California venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.
May 24, 2010
According to financial-disclosure records released just prior to his bid for the presidency, Al Gore had a net worth near $2 million at that time. Now thanks to his new career as a climate change guru, he stands to make perhaps a billion dollars or more off of global warming. Little wonder then that Tony Blair is climbing aboard the lucrative climate bandwagon! www.climatedigest.org
God bless old Tony! He has earned every reward he will get. Uh... that is... unless W helped him get the reward... Did W help him? If W helped him, then he does not deserve this honor. W should be admonished for giving Tony this reward. Please keep me updated about this reward. I need to know!!!
What do Tony Blair and the well intended company have in common? They are literally blind to the temperatures they discuss in climate change. I have a background in building engineering and electrical energy provision which means I design for the emissions. We missed critical climate data in our calculators. Buildings are insulated and emissions produced for very specific temperatures. Building Codes tell us to reflect solar radiation or buildings will be radiated and generate extreme heat they aren't designed or insulated for. We are in fact responding to symptoms with more emissions because we can't see temperature. Here is what we did outside the calculator in imaging the cause of global warming and urban heat islands. Why do we tell our children and bald headed friends to protect themselves from the sun? It burns them and is burning buildings. http://www.thermoguy.com/blog/index.php?itemid=36