Microsoft president says the race to construct new local weather applied sciences is like JFK’s plan to go to the moon

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The race to develop new technologies to solve the climate crisis is as big as America, which put the first man on the moon, said Microsoft President Brad Smith on Wednesday.

“We’re going to have to invent new technologies,” Smith told CNBC’s Karen Tso at the Web Summit technology conference in Lisbon, Portugal.

“It’s a bit like John F. Kennedy said in 1961 that America would go to the moon by 1970.

“I believe we have the ability to invent the technology that is needed. That is where the markets and much of this new investment has to go,” added Smith.

Smith, who also attended the UN climate change conference COP26 this week, said he believes the nascent area of ​​climate technology will spawn many new businesses in the years to come.

John F. Kennedy delivered a historic speech to Congress in 1961 in which he set out his ambition for America to land a man on the moon by 1970.

Heritage images | Hulton Archives | Getty Images

“When I look at carbon removal, carbon capture and storage, sustainable aviation fuel, long-term battery storage – the companies that are unraveling the secrets of these innovations will become unicorns if they don’t exist today. You will be the household. “Names in 2050.”

The Microsoft executive dismissed claims that such ideas “meant”, citing the tremendous effort to develop and deploy Covid-19 vaccines in such a short space of time during the coronavirus pandemic.

Global investment in climate technology startups has already exceeded all of 2020 this year, reaching a record $ 32 billion, according to Dealroom figures last week.

World leaders made a number of notable commitments at COP26, including a pact to reduce global methane emissions and an agreement to end deforestation by 2030.

Smith said it was important to “turn promises into progress” through tools like accurate measurement of companies’ environmental impact and transparency reports.

“We have a lot to do,” he said.

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