Top investor Nancy Pfund: Climate action will create “better life for ourselves and our children”

Author:
Ilario D'Amato
6 December 2015

Nancy Pfund, Founder and Managing Partner of DBL Partners

PARIS: Investment in new companies that “bring technology to solve the problem we face with the fossil fuel economy” is key to tackling climate change, says Nancy PfundFounder and Managing Partner of DBL Partners, in The Climate Group’s latest Climate TV interview.

The US venture capitalist, who combines financial and environmental returns, analyzes the ongoing climate negotiations at COP21 in Paris – whose decisions she says “will be critical. But we can’t do this with just policy, without investment and innovation. We need the two working together, so that we can fund efforts to create energy storage, electric vehicles, cheaper, better, faster solar and wind.”

INNOVATION

Today new technology is shaping our lives faster than it ever has in the past, a trend reflected in the plummeting price of renewables which has accelerated adoption across the world. The price of solar dropped 80% in the last six years and hit 180 GW installed capacity worldwide last year.

All of these technology innovations “are just now coming to pass within energy, and not a moment too soon,” underlines Nancy Pfund. “It’s really important that we replace the 20th century icons with clean 21st century companies.”

To make the transition from a fossil-dominated past to a clean energy future, “we need to see a collective will,” says the venture capitalist. She suggests using “the fantastic tools we have of investment, finance and project development” to spur the transition.

But the top investor says we must align policymakers and investors for a successful energy system shift. “The public sector plays a critical role there in terms of the way that financing happens, the laws that make that available and the incentives going from the old to the new,” explains Nancy Pfund.

“And the private sector makes it happen, by figuring out which technologies will win, which business models will succeed, and scaling solutions beyond research and development into the mainstream, which is where we have to land.”

COP21

The Paris agreement will then be crucial to making this cooperation happen, in order to unleash the trillion of dollars urgently needed to solve climate change. “The time is now,” is Nancy Pfund’s simple message to negotiators at COP21. “We have the technology, we have the investment to scale a solution, and we are running out of time.”

But acting urgently on climate should not mean sacrificing development, she concludes. “We can protect and enhance our planet while we grow a better life for ourselves and our children.”

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