Since leaving Lyft in 2021, venture capitalist Raj Kapoor has shifted gears. As the cofounder of Climactic, Kapoor now invests his resources in green initiatives. At the Techonomy Climate NYC: Solutions That Scale conference, he discussed the intersection of VC and climate mitigation. One of the most powerful trends in green technology, he argued, is the proliferation of AI. He gave attendees a sense of just how versatile the technology has become, using examples of three finalists in a startup competition cosponsored by Climactic.
Kapoor’s talk, “Seed To Scale: Venture Capital’s Climate Journey,” covered four main topics: how VC got interested in climate mitigation, how AI can help, how to measure a company’s environmental impact, and how green initiatives can hold themselves accountable. While the whole talk is worth watching, the second part stands out for addressing the major problem with “net zero” environmental initiatives: They’re not really working.
“Enterprises need to go to net zero,” Kapoor said. “There’s over 8,000 that have made a net zero pledge. [Now] 90% of worldwide GDP is under pledge. Articles came out yesterday [Sept. 19] that hardly anyone is on track.” For what it’s worth, both the Sierra Club and the United Nations have come to the same conclusion.