How the world is spending $1.1 trillion on climate technology

By By Eric Roston and Akshat Rathi
April 24, 2023

There’s some­thing to be said, too, for low­er-lev­el invest­ment in the rick­ety wires meant to dis­trib­ute the clean-ener­gy future. “Peo­ple aren’t that inter­est­ed in their grid, except when it doesn’t work,” says Nan­cy Pfund, founder and man­ag­ing part­ner of DBL Part­ners and an ear­ly Tes­la investor. Maybe the need for a new and improved grid isn’t excit­ing or shock­ing. But con­trast that with how shocked peo­ple are to hear some­thing Pfund rou­tine­ly shares with audi­ences: “Your morn­ing cup of cof­fee is a cup of carbon.”

Ten-year-old Bell­wether Cof­fee, in Berke­ley, Cal­i­for­nia, devel­oped and sells an elec­tric cof­fee roast­er that elim­i­nates the use of gas and vents noth­ing in the process. The com­pa­ny has raised $30 mil­lion and includes among its investors SolarCi­ty co-founders (and broth­ers) Lyn­don and Peter Rive.

Peo­ple that aren’t into cli­mate, they feel guilty,” Pfund says. Recon­sid­er­ing cof­fee as cli­mate tech is “a gate­way drug to under­stand­ing why car­bon is embed­ded in every­thing you do and how to change that.”

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